Post by Jenny
Contrary to what my boys may (secretly) believe, I am not old enough to remember when writing required stone tablets and chisels (except when the Flintstones did it). But I am old enough to remember when a “word-processing typewriter” was cutting edge. Technology has made things so much easier for writers, and so much more portable. Imagine lugging around a piece of equipment that weighs roughly as much as a basset hound. No, thanks.
But all our gadgets wouldn’t be as useful without the smart people who come up with new ways for writers to get the most out of our mobility. I recently came across My Writing Spot, which bills itself as a “simple, uncluttered writing workspace.” It consists of a writing area--“a void into which you may drop your captivating prose”--and a sidebar with a few basic command buttons. The site also provides word count, dictionary, and thesaurus. That’s about it, which I find appealing. If you like lots of bells and whistles, you may feel otherwise.
MWS works on Google’s App Engine, and documents are stored in the cloud across multiple servers. Additional backup is available by downloading and/or emailing documents. MWS also has apps for iDevices and Androids, so your WIP can be as available as the phone in your pocket. Though I’m pretty sure my clumsy texting thumbs are not capable of lengthy composition, they could probably handle some short revisions.
The thing I liked about MWS is that it looks more 'writerly' than a basic Google doc. The old-school black courier font on a white screen took me back to those word processing typewriter days. And who doesn’t appreciate word count at a glance, especially for something like NaNoWriMo?
If you’ve used My Writing Spot, do you like it? Do you trust your work to the cloud, or do you prefer the relative security of a flash drive in your pocket?