Cloud Storage: Bringing Personal Media Out of the Box
One of the great draws of writing is its sea of possibilities. No limits. There’s always a way to raise the bar and challenge yourself. Personally, I like how the discipline of writing manages to strike a balance between cooperative and competitive with an excellent support system even amongst professional writers.
Of course, the kind of writer I am today, writing mostly articles for the Internet, (for now) is not what I planned. But sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone. You’ve got to think outside the box. And today, with the economy struggling, we simply can’t expect to keep doing the same thing and getting a different result. For many writers, a partially written “great American novel” sits in a drawer (or in a folder on their hard drive) while much of their time is spent writing articles on the Internet. It is not unusual for writers to write thousands of articles a year collecting not only the articles themselves, but research materials. While every article written can bring a sense of satisfaction, the information written and collected hold even more potential. Raw information can be strung together for eBooks or different articles with a different focus. It can even lend a little authenticity to that novel. But to get the most out of that information, a writer needs to have the access she needs. After a while, keeping author writing on a personal computer isn’t enough. Enter cloud storage.
Cloud storage, while certainly trendy and useful at the moment, is nothing new. The early stages gave many people opportunities to store photos on sites like Snapfish and Flicker. As e-readers and e-books became more popular, and Kindles and Nooks started becoming more of a rule rather than an exception, cloud storage expanded even more since the bulk of the books, newspapers, magazines, and even movies are stored not on the device, but in cloud storage. This is great for writers who like to stay on the go because in assures we are ready to take notes whenever and wherever inspiration and/or opportunity strikes because we can take and receive notes right within the source articles.
Whether a writer is sticking to article writing, is recycling their research into an eBook or restructuring information to submit to more prominent print magazines having access to whatever information they need wherever they need, it can prove very valuable. But notes only go so far. While some writers work from a single laptop, not all do. Some work may be done in the evening on the family desktop. Or a writer might sneak in a little research on their lunch hour of their “day job”. Or they might even find information on a public computer.
So how does a traveling writer keep everything straight? Flash drives aren’t always practical, and emailing yourself links can get cumbersome. For many, cloud storage servers are the answer. There are companies that allow for various amounts of information to be stored on their servers and accessed through the Internet. Many offer limited storage for free or charge a reasonable monthly fee and can be accessed by either a single person or a group making it that much easier to share files since there is often more than one author writing a piece. Those who want a little more control have the option of purchasing their own server- these start at about $200. Using cloud storage to store drafts and research materials makes it easy to access the information for article writing no matter where you work and gives you a reliable backup in case your own hard drive is damaged.
Storing information in cloud storage may not be the norm for every writer, but it may be something anyone who does article writing on a regular basis may want to consider. After all, with writing the sky’s the limit. Why not reach for the clouds?
Gretchen B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments. WriterAccess is powered by ideaLaunch.