Web service for writing a book, confidentially.
November 12, 2017 12:09 AM   Subscribe

Where on the internet can I compose a book (from a browser and a mobile device) and know with a high degree of confidence that it won't disappear if I am incapacitated?

This summer, I learned that I am dying of a rare genetic condition. I'm happily married with four young kids. I want to leave my children a book about what I have learned-- sort of an instruction manual for life-- that will help them grow up and remember me.

Thing is, I want it to be my thing. I want to compose it when I have half an hour of free time here and there, and I don't want anyone else (even my lovely wife) involved. I can leave the lawyer my instructions for how to unlock it when I die, but what I don't know is what web service to use for it. Obviously it needs to be a service that won't disappear my work, with or without warning.
posted by anonymous to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm so sorry you find yourself in this position.

Is there a reason you can't use Google Docs? Google shouldn't be going anywhere any time soon, and you can create a separate account and leave the login details with your lawyer. Google Docs also works really well across multiple platforms.
posted by nerdfish at 1:49 AM on November 12, 2017 [6 favorites]

Very sorry to hear about your situation.

You could use Dreamwidth for this, and set your journal to Private. No one will be able to see it unless they have the login credentials. It may fit your needs/wants and it's free.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:33 AM on November 12, 2017

+1 for the Google Docs idea above.
Create a new email address/account that only YOU know the details for, leave that information with your lawyer, and start creating.
Remember that google also has tools for word processing, powerpoint style slide presentations and other creative endeavors, so you are only limited by your imagination when it comes to something wonderful, and personal, to leave behind.
Give them a great gift to remember you by.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 5:48 AM on November 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

I'd put the authoritative copy on my own computer, back it up regularly to my own external backup drives, and use Dropbox to sync it to my Dropbox account as well as all the other devices I edited it on.

I wouldn't use a web-based editor to write it, because I have yet to encounter one that isn't grindingly slow and distractingly laggy compared to any native text editor.
posted by flabdablet at 5:54 AM on November 12, 2017

I find Google Docs to work great for book writing. It doesn't have the fancy functionality of something like Scrivener, but it's perfectly adequate, and its speed depends only on Internet connectivity; I've never had it falter.
posted by fingersandtoes at 6:37 AM on November 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Google also has the inactive account manager that can provide access to another person you designate after a period of inactivity - not as good as a lawyer but a good fallback option.
posted by crocomancer at 6:56 AM on November 12, 2017 [9 favorites]

Was just about to make crocomancer’s suggestion, so I’ll just second it instead.
posted by pharm at 7:40 AM on November 12, 2017

« Older I think I have vertigo   |   Joyful, loud gospel songs needed! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.