View Full Version : doing all my writing online?

12-05-2007, 08:47 AM
I hope this is the right spot to post this. I hope I am not breaking any rules by mentioning another site. A little background first. I'm not familiar with any of the writing software programs and don't have MS Word. I don't have a dedicated computer that's JUST MINE, but I've got access at work and at home. Additionally, I'm TOTALLY new to all this. So, I joined writing.com to provide a place where I can write, store my stuff and be able to access it from wherever I happen to be. Is this a good move? Has anyone found the site useful? I'd very much like to hear from anyone who has experience. Thanks.

12-05-2007, 09:06 AM
I think it's a bad move. Read the TOS.

I think a better thing to do is write at home, back-up to email, and open it at work when you have the chance, add to it, and email back.

Later we can groom you on thumb drives, CDs, online storage and the rest.

Oh, and get familiar with a word processor. Word is standard, but for free you can get Open Office which I understand is just as good (and better, by some accounts).

12-05-2007, 10:26 AM
I agree.

It feels like your vulnerable if it's stored only online. What if their system crashes?

I'd invest, like Siddow said, in a pen drive--a big one. Nowadays, you can use it on both PC and Mac interchangeably, as long as they both have the same text program.

And I know this is really old fashioned, but I do about 50% or more of my writing (not counting prewriting) on paper. I like holding it and doodling what I hope the reader will see.

Anyway, that's how I would go. A pen drive and a good notebook.

12-05-2007, 10:43 AM
Writing.com really isn't set-up for mass back-ups, plus, unless you make the files private, they are publicly accessible, which some will view as "published." Better to do as Siddow suggests or graduate immediately to a thumb drive or CD. You can also use a gmail or a Yahoo e-mail account to back-up your files. Gmail has lots of storage and can be accessed from any computer. There's also Google docs as an option for working from any computer.

L M Ashton
12-05-2007, 03:28 PM
There are proper online word processing programs, like Google Docs and Buzzword. If you're going to do it online, I would suggest something like that instead. But yes, I would still make sure you have backups in case there's a problem with their servers.

12-05-2007, 03:58 PM
You know, you could just keep an email account to store stuff in. You said you don't have word...do you have some type of processor where you can save files and open them from your email account? I wouldn't do what you're doing.

12-05-2007, 04:01 PM
I was just about to suggest Google Docs. Plus it's compatible with Word, in case you want to switch later, or back up to something else. Also, Google gives you a lot of storage space.

12-06-2007, 03:57 AM
I was a member over there a few years ago, SleuthMonkey, and found it very helpful (not as helpful as here, of course! :D )

But I do vaguely remember something about their terms and conditions of posting. I strongly suggest you read through the terms and conditions and check they're not taking first rights for any of the stuff you post there.

I could be remembering incorrectly, or they may have changed it, but it's worth checking anyway.

And I'll vote for GoogleDocs as a backup too!

12-06-2007, 02:59 PM
I agree.

It feels like your vulnerable if it's stored only online. What if their system crashes?

I'd invest, like Siddow said, in a pen drive--a big one. Nowadays, you can use it on both PC and Mac interchangeably, as long as they both have the same text program.

'Big' these days means 4-8Gb, way bigger than you're likely to need to store writing. A smaller one, maybe 512Mb should be more than sufficient for even the most prolific writers.

12-06-2007, 05:09 PM
I'll put my vote in for Google Docs. Getting a gmail and a yahoo email account would let you send your work to two other places for backup.

I prefer Open Office to Word, but if you're worried about your privacy, since you said your home computer isn't just yours, then going with online options sounds the best.

Kate Thornton
12-06-2007, 07:06 PM
I love my thumb drives - and they give you needed security for back-ups and privacy.

I your shoes, I would write at home, using Open Office and saving to a thumb drive (also called travel drives, stick drives, etc.) - I bought mine at several different office supply stores for about $20 each. Mine are all 1 gb (I have one that's 2 gb) and that's a ton of space for a writer. I have a few due to my habit of saving pictures, which take up a a lot of drive space.

This way you could take your work with you and work wherever you find a computer - just be sure to save your work to your thumb drive and not on your shared computers.

I also send myself copies of stories via email attachment and file these away, too.

I have used online resources to write/store work, but always with some trepidation. And you really need to know what the site terms are up front.

Best of luck!

12-06-2007, 08:05 PM
Oh, and just in case you're wondering 'what the hell are these thumb drive things these strange people keep talking about?' - here they are on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/104-8393822-1454359?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=thumb+drive)

12-06-2007, 09:44 PM
I'd suggest Google Docs (an online word processor) for your main word processing and storing, and a thumb drive for backing up. I've used Google Docs for homeworks and stuff, it's really neat.

12-08-2007, 08:10 AM
I wrote a blog post recently that talked about the kinds of software currently available to creative writers (http://www.farfromfearless.com/2007/11/29/software-for-creative-writers/) -- while the post was aimed specifically at desktop-based software, I make mention of some that can be run from pen drives such as Metapad (http://www.liquidninja.com/metapad/), which I used for quite some time as I was in a very similar predicament.

There are some applications like JDarkroom, and Darkroom that might be suitable for your needs, but beware, they do have software dependencies. As far as I know Metapad is a standalone editor for windows.

In any case, I am not 100% confident about storing work online -- call me possessive, but I just can't bring myself to use sites like writers.com to save my material. I might change my tune in the next few years, but for the moment, I'd rather be the one responsible for the safety/storage of my work rather than some anonymous third party.