Archive | Apr 2014

Write on your tablet or smartphone to keep your stories moving forward

Like many hobbyist writers I would love to get big from writing (or at least make some money!) but do it mainly for the pleasure, and like nearly all hobbyist writers I have very little time to write. This blog has a plethora of posts about how self-set deadlines have been missed due to work and family commitments. It is so hard to find even an hour to get away from the rat race and put pen to paper (or rather fingers to keyboard!). I tend to get the odd ten or twenty minutes of down time when I could be writing but by the time I have turned my laptop on, or realised I am out somewhere waiting for a train or appointment so am nowhere near my words, the time has passed. I have tried to use the Wattpad app on my phone, but it needs to be connected to the Internet to save what I write, or use the Notes app that comes free with the phone, but this can cause undue pain when trying to export to a decent file format.

It seems that getting a decent app for my tablet or phone would be a solution to my problem, they are always on and usually near me so I could just pop in my passcode and write away. When I start a large writing session I often need to look back at previous words as it has been so long since I last managed any writing but by using a smartphone for the odd ten or twenty minutes every few days the stories would be fresh in my mind. Recently I found an app that has allowed this to happen and much as I have mused over how good it would be to have a way to easily write on my smartphone I am noticing that the reality is even better. The app I am using is the free version of Documents by Savy Soda. I stumbled across the app when I was looking for a way to produce office documents for my work, basically it offers word processing and spreadsheets using common free file formats that can be opened by any major office software. Whilst I use it for work purposes on my work supplied tablet I now have a copy on my smartphone for writing stories, ok the keyboard is a little more fidley but I have written about 1000 more words in the last few days than I would have if I had only been using my laptop. The word processing files are saved locally on the phone as rich text files (.rtf) so they can be edited in areas where no Internet is available. Further to this, the app has a direct link to many file storage websites. With a click of a button I can save my files to my Google Drive then download them when I manage to sit down to write on my laptop. Ok so rtf only offers a limited number of fonts, on the fly spell checking and changing text to bold, italic or a few different colours, but it is the words that count. I can use my laptop to do the proper editing and make them look fancy to upload to Kindle or Smashwords at a later date. The only downside is that it only works for Apple products, however that doesn’t bother me as those are the produces I have!

So, if like me you are finding it hard to get time to write I would suggest getting a free text editor app. If you get Documents then all you need to do is save your files as .rtf in your office application on your computer then upload to a file storage site such as Google Drive or Dropbox, you can then write on the go safe in the knowledge that you can save your words on your phone/tablet then upload back to your file storage site when you get in range of some good wi-fi, download onto your computer when that finally gets turned on. It also means you don’t need to plug your phone in and wade through the endless folders to find where the files are actually saved. You know, thanks to Documents I think I might end up finishing a few stories that would otherwise have fallen by the wayside.