So I’ve been writing about 1,000 words per day for the past couple of months.Much of my writing occurs in the morning at the local recreation center. I knock out the words on my iPad, with my headphones lodged deep in my middle ear so that the sweet sounds of The Specials or fIREHOSE become my auditory landscape.I’ve been using Google Drive since July because it allows me to write online and store my work in a way my editor can easily access it.
My tool box is highly mobile and smart. I’ve tried tools and then retired them because they don’t fit in or are not easy enough to use. In fact if you want me to drop your nifty app from the short list all you need to do is make it the slightest bit of a kludge or bork-job. Spotify got dropped after it started to misbehave. I’d start to write after queuing up my tunes and then mid sentence Spotify would quit or worse, log me out. Rdio doesn’t seem to have this problem. I queue my music and it plays and plays and plays. “My name is George Roughneck …”
Google docs aka drive has been a mixed bag for me. It’s a fundamental tool in my kit. It offers some pretty neat advantages over the competition. There is an iOS native app. It is easy to share out my work with people who help me improve its quality or are otherwise working to support my writing efforts. I don’t worry about device theft or infrastructure failure. I’m not going to lose a novel I’ve been banging away on for months.
Despite these advantages, I’m starting to think I might need to reevaluate using this tool. First, it lacks some basic features that I’ve become accustomed to since back in the eighties. Specifically, spell check! Seriously Google, why does spell check work when I use the browser and not in the iOS native app? Is this a fundamental feature of any word processing app you just forgot, or are you dicking around with features because you want Mac users to become Android users? In either instance, my judgement is that you are being lame. Pages does these basic things and I have email so I can share my work as necessary.
How about a little work to make the iOS app as fully featured as the chrome app (which I like)? I mean, having to wait hours until I get home to check how many words I’ve written, would be a pretty easy problem to solve if you just added this basic feature across all platforms your app lives on.
In the meantime, I’ve got think long and hard about how I want to proceed. Not having spellcheck makes my writing so much more difficult. It means I cannot edit anywhere but in my home office. It makes the process take more time, which means that Google is wasting my time.