The Word App

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Over the last few months, I have been using the word app for a lot of my writing. When this app first came out, I hated it and it sat unused on my phone for over a year. But lately I have been using it during my commute to work and while I still prefer using my computer, it has allowed me to add about a thousand words a day to my writing and there are some things that I like about it.

Akashi Station at sunset
Akashi Station at sunset

One thing that I like about it is that it syncs with OneDrive. This means that my file is safe and always updated as I work so long as I am connected to the internet. I can also tell my phone to keep an updated copy of my documents physically on my phone so that if I go out of coverage, I can keep working and don’t have to worry about losing my data. This works because as soon as I get back within coverage, it updates and if there are any differences with my versions, it highlights them and lets me choose which versions of the different parts I want to keep.

I am mainly writing novels so some of the files I am working with are hundreds of pages long but so far, I haven’t had any problems with the app freezing or crashing and it keeps up just fine with my typing and some of the features that the phone app has that normal word doesn’t are really useful. One of the things that I like a lot is the word fill features that is brought over from messaging. This is not always spot on, but it does allow you to just type the first letter or two of the next word and then just fill it in with a click. I found that there are times when this helps me to get down ideas quickly, so it is helpful when I am on a role and don’t want to lose a train of thought. The down side of this is that later I usually have to go back and edit a little closer because some odd words or structures get into the writing.

Which leads me to the main issue that I do have with this app, editing and formatting. This is an issue on the app. On the formatting side of things, the app tends to create some wired spacing that, like double spaces or odd tabs, that I have to go back on my computer to fix. It is also tough to edit from since it is hard to select exactly where you want to edit. This means that if I want to change to first letter of a word from a lowercase to an uppercase or visa-versa, I usually just delete the whole word and rewrite it because it is easier than trying to replace the cursor and just edit that part. Another issue is navigating the formatting tools. Sometimes it is quite difficult to locate the exact tool that you are looking for and specific tool settings don’t always translate across the app-program barrier. Case in point, I have smart quotes turned off on my computer because they look funky when I go to print an e-book or a paperback, so I use straight quotes. The app doesn’t have these options, so I have to go back and do a bulk replace to fix them. It isn’t a huge deal, but it can be annoying if I miss one.

So, in the end, I feel like this app is more of a help than a hindrance and that it has allowed me to have more productive writing time than I otherwise would have. It isn’t for everyone, but if you are looking to add some more writing time, you might give it a try and see if it can help you also.

If you are interested in looking at any of my publications, here they are:

Account of the Change Series:

Swell:

Swell: A New Beginning:

Swell: A Different Path

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