I’ve been trying an experiment in the last eight weeks as I work on my book manuscript for WTF Records: The Turntabling.net Guide To Weird and Wonderful Vinyl.
Instead of doing what I used to do, which was writing and editing directly in Word, I’ve been using Google Docs to do first drafts, then save them to the hard drive at the end of the session using the Download As feature.
I’ve got several chapters I’m working on at once because the book, which is a collection of reviews of bizarre and strange vinyl records, has a variety of categories. I put on the records and re-orient myself with them as I’m writing and the pile always crosses several categories, so it’s not quite a linear book writing experience–definitely one that is assembled from its various components.
In other words, FRANKENBOOK!
The experiment is going well–the most valuable thing in Google Docs when working this way is the ability to download several documents all at once as a zipped file. I find that when I’m off in a coffee shop somewhere or on the road and want to do a quick revision on a section I wrote earlier, having it all in Google Docs is a major convenience. Also, it eliminates the worries about hard drive crashes and the like since I always have a copy backed up online.
Of course, if Google Docs crashes AND my hard drive dies, I’m stuck–but that’s a good argument for using a zip drive to backup the backup.
So far, so good.