Why I write in Google Docs

Writers all have their different habits and preferences for bringing words into existence. There are an endless number of writing programs, both free and paid, some just for processing words, or other more complex ones for organizing and story-boarding. Some writers even use pen and paper and keep physical piles of paper laying around! Personally, I choose to write everything in Google Docs, and here are my reasons why:

Accessibility: I can work on my project from any device with connection to the internet. Even if I don’t currently have a connection, I can open the file offline and work on it, and as soon as I connect it will be updated in the cloud. This removes so many excuses not to write. Even if all my electronic equipment went up in flames, I could still go to the library and open my document, and keep working. Which brings me to….

Peace of Mind: Laptop stolen? My story is safe. Critical error and hard drive erased? My story is safe. Unless Google goes belly up and shuts down all their servers, my story is always safe. Even the old horror story of a power outage or computer crash when I haven’t pressed ‘save’ in a while is no longer a worry, because it always is auto-saved to the cloud.

Sharing and Collaboration: Stories need to be reviewed, and it’s very easy to send a link to a Google Docs file, and allow comments, or even allow editing by anyone with the link, or give permission to specific people. Sure, I can always put a word doc in an email and send it to a bunch of people, but this leads to so many different versions to go over. With Docs, I can have all the comments from all the readers all on the same file, with no effort required by anyone. Just click the link, read, and comment.

Version History: Did you know Google Docs had this? I didn’t until recently. This adds even more to the peace of mind section, as well as simplicity. I can make major changes to a story without worrying about saving another version, because Google does that for me. All I have to do is go to file > version history > see version history, and I can look at earlier versions  by date. Drink a bit too much and make some sweeping changes that don’t look so good in the morning? Just load up an earlier version. Thanks Google!

Download as: Yes, it’s true that Google Docs doesn’t have quite the formatting capabilities as Word, but after you’re done writing and want to do some formatting of the final version, just download it as a word doc! You can also download as .odt, .rtf, .pdf, .txt, .htm. and even .epub, to upload it right to your e-reader!

Free!: And all this convenience is completely free. Just get a google account, and you’ll have access to all these features as well as 5gb of free storage space, which, when we’re dealing with text documents might as well be unlimited. Give it a try! You’ll thank me later 🙂

Advertisements

Story number 4: JUPITER

I’ve completed story number 4 out of 6 for my resolution goal this year, and number 2 out of 7 for my planned collection of stories: The Planets.

This one was a real pain, and I had a hard time finding the spirit. But it came out okay in the end! Even though it went in a different direction than I’d planned.

It’s more personal proof that the ‘idea’ of the story is only one of many ingredients. It’s the seed that grows into who knows what. The end result might not have any evidence of what the seed looked like… let the story go where it wants, and don’t try to force it in your original direction!

 

Strange writing styles

I’ve started reading ‘Out’ by Christine Brooke-Rose. This one is described as an ‘experimental’ novel, and it certainly reads that way. The writing style is very strange so far, with repetitive descriptions of the surrounding environment, with characters left in a sort of confusing fog. I’m finding it very interesting, and enjoying how I have to sort of think and puzzle out what the heck is going on.

The focus often falls on the very small, while things that are probably important are ignored by the character. In the opening for example, he watches two flies ‘making love’ on his knee, while people are talking around him. Later he’s watching a square of light on the table, or thinking about how the way people are standing form different chemical bonds with their feet.

Some of it is so beautiful, and I feel that the writing is more important than the story for me these days, so I’m liking it a lot so far.

Ideas on how I want to write a future story are appearing…

Phones, everywhere

I am a poor judge of my own work

I’m writing a story finally. Took a while to get the ideas organized in my head for the next planet, Jupiter. I’m writing about an endless storm, but on Earth.

The problem is I don’t really like it. But I can’t stop now so I’ll just have to push it out.

It’s not like I can tell what’s good anyway. The stories I love the most never sell, and those I whip out in a flash do… So what do I even know. It mostly just feels like rolling dice…

What is the point of creating?

I’ve spent a bit of time the past few days wondering if anyone will ever want to read my stories, or enjoy reading them as much as I did writing them. Am I the only one who enjoys the sort of thing I want to write? Surely I can’t be… I’m not that special or unique or smart or dumb. There must be people out there who like similar things to what I write.

But what if there wasn’t? What if, somehow, the exact thing I enjoy reading and writing, was not popular with anyone… would I still write it?

Would I change my ‘style’ to please someone–anyone!–or, would I keep on trying to satisfy my own tastes and preferences.

You might ask: what’s the point of writing something no one wants to read?

But, what is the point of writing something that doesn’t say what you want it to?

 

 

Verify that you’re not insane

I got some feedback on my novella, The Observer, yesterday, and it was encouraging to hear that it was not a completely boring, confusing, self-indulgent mess as I sometimes feel it is in my spirals of confidence.

Getting your writing out into the real world in front of real eyes (not those excessively cruel/worshipfully sycophantic ones of your imagination) is quite helpful, and I highly recommend you find a group of trustworthy people to tell you what’s what about your writing.

Thanks writing friends, for all your help!