Thursday, November 7, 2013

Writing 101: Me...and My Cloud

I'm not the most technically-savvy girl in the world (in truth, I can't hardly figure out how to use my microwave), but even I have figured out this whole "cloud" business. And in figuring it out, I've made a discovery: every single author needs to start using a cloud immediately. I expect you to do so the minute you're done reading this post...because it really can't wait any longer. 


Oh, That's Not My Head in the Clouds

Allow me to explain. First thing you have to get used to: "cloud" is a dumb name. I don't know who came up with it or why, but this is the way it works: it's online storage that you can access on just about any device that has Internet. That means I can work on Chapter 1 at my laptop. One minute later, I can carry my phone outside and read what I just wrote. The files I change automatically update themselves when I turn on my device. 

The benefits of this type of access are clear. As long as you know how to access your cloud, you can access any of the files you might need. Your aunt's practically-ancient Windows 1998 desktop? Done. Your brother's crazy, multicolored, brand-new tablet? Sure, no problem. The slow computer up at the one library you've got within 100 miles? Absolutely. If you've got Internet, you can probably get to your stuff. That makes it possible to write and work anywhere at any time, and I don't have to tell you how amazing that is. 

Because I'm going to focus on a second benefit, one that's a little bit more unsung: storage. When you're using a cloud for file storage, you don't have to rely on you computer to keep that story safe. If you get some weird virus or you drop your machine in the swimming pool again (oops), you're not going to lose the novel you were almost finished writing. It's saved on your cloud!! 



This is why every author everywhere needs to start using this technology right now. A good file-storing service will keep their own backups of your stuff, so when your computer freaks out and your hard drive freezes and your laptop gets mangled in yet another unfortunate loose dog accident you will not lose the important files you need for your book. I fell so in love with my cloud, I uploaded all my book files onto it. And yeah, I've got space to spare. That's another benefit of using a cloud: you get a lot of free space. For writers who have mostly .doc files, you just can't beat it. 

So all you need now is a cloud of your own. I use Dropbox, but I also hear great things about Google's cloud. When you start looking, you'll find a ton of different cloud options out there.

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2 comments:

  1. Very helpful and I am not just wishing on a cloud I am going to put it into practical use!

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  2. Hope it works out for you, Jackie! Thanks for your comment.

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