I Inserted a Blank DVD. Now What?

Good question, David Crooks.  We'll follow John Carter's directions and view his screen shots to see how easy it is to do.

David asks, "I bought some DVD_RW on which to record data I want to save forever.  I inserted the DVD, and it did not appear on my screen.  What do you suggest?" 

"Good question," begins John.  And here for all of us to benefit from, are John's directions: 

Your preferences for what to do with a blank DVD or CD are probably not set to do what you would expect should happen.

Here's what I get when I insert a blank DVD+RDL: (the type of DVD does not matter)
To set up what action to take place when you insert a blank DVD or CD, click on the Apple icon, click on System Preferences, then click on the "CDs & DVDs" icon:
You should see this:

The top two options are set on my machine as you see them there. Here are the options:

Your machine might have it set to "Ignore" which is why you didn't see anything after inserting the blank DVD.

I you don't see any place to click on to eject that blank DVD, first launch Disk Utility (you do this by clicking on the Spotlight and typing in "Disk Utility."
Notice that without moving the mouse, the Top Hit has highlighted the application. All you need to do is  press Enter or Return to launch the application.

You should see something like this in the left side of the window:
I have my DVD drive highlighted. On the right side of the window is this:
Click on the Eject button.

After setting your preferences for what action to take when you insert a blank DVD or CD, you should then be able to work with the DVD or CD the way you want to.
Take care at this point! If you selected to open Finder so you could copy files to the DVD or CD, you might not think to look in the Places section of the Finder to see where it put a link to access that DVD or CD:  

So now all you need to do is drag files/folders into that location. Nothing is actually written to the DVD or CD yet. That only happens when you eject the DVD or CD. Notice the grey and yellow icon on the left? You click on that when you're ready to burn the contents of that folder onto the DVD or CD. And yes, you can change the title of the folder (Rename) and that name will be the title of the DVD or CD.
If you don't want to burn the DVD or CD just yet, leave it there until you have everything in this folder. And alternative is to first prepare a new folder with the contents of what you want to burn to a DVD or CD, then insert a blank, then copy the contents of the prepared folder to the Untitled DVD folder.

You can always back out and not do anything by ejecting the DVD or CD using Disk Utility, even if you have copied stuff to the Untitled DVD folder.  Doing so does NOT remove (delete) the Untitled DVD folder from the Finder sidebar. You have to move that folder to the Trash by going to your Desktop (where it lives), right click (control click) to open the options menu, and select "Move to Trash." As we say in baseball, no hits, no runs, no errors.