New Authors Stop Using Old Methods
If you’re a new (or fairly new) author that is used to using old writing methods, it is time to stop and re-evaluate the way you do things. I can say this as the voice of experience. In many areas, I’ve spent years of doing things the same way, simply because: “That’s the way I’ve always done it and it still works for me.” Does that statement remind you of someone? If it sounds like you, then it’s time you stop using old methods to accomplish your writing goals.
Fix it Anyway
We’ve all heard the expression that “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” When it comes to writing and self-publishing, that statement does not always apply. Just because something isn’t broke, doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way of doing it. For instance, I absolutely love MS Word 2003. To me, this is the version of Microsoft Word that they could have stopped at and never created another. It works for me, and I never wanted to bother taking the time to even learn another version. For me, it wasn’t broken, but my son just kept insisting that I fix it anyway. He felt the same way about my outdated Windows program, not to mention my actual computer. He was always insisting that I upgrade!
A New Desktop
This past week, I got a new desktop (Dell) and I retired my other P.C. (It was so old, I could have taken it to the Smithsonian Institute). Of course, my son took this as his opportunity to make sure that I’m all updated on both software and hardware. He transferred all my “classic” programs so I could still resort to them if needed, but he challenged me to try and learn the newer versions. I accepted the challenge. Now I’m running Windows 7 and using MS Word 2010. I’m like a kid in a candy store when I discover a new feature that enables me to do something faster or more efficiently. I can’t believe how much time I save by doing small tasks quicker.
There’s nothing wrong with having a particular way of doing something, as long as it works for you, but don’t allow your mind to be closed to alternative methods. Once upon a time, I THOUGHT the only way that I could write was with a pen and paper. I found it almost impossible to have a creative thought while I was sitting at the computer trying to type things out. So I would write longhand (as we old timers used to say), then transcribe all my notes – even the ones I scribbled on tissue paper, napkins and the back of a matchbook. Needless to say, this method of writing took forever.
I eventually resorted to an alternative method, only because I was forced to. I had an injury that caused me to have trouble holding and manipulating a pen or pencil. Fortunately, I could still type, so I learned how to still be creative by using the keyboard.
I also experienced the same type of apprehension when it came to using Dragon Naturally Speaking, the “speech to text” software. Years ago, I dibbled and dabbled with it, but trying to create ideas in my head and dictate them aloud just didn’t work for me. Even though I knew this was a software that could help me be more productive, I couldn’t get used to this alternative method.
These are truly changing times that we live in, and slowly but surely, I’m learning how to change with them. When I finally tried using the “voice recorder” feature on my tablet, I fell in love with it. Unlike the Dragon software I tried (over a decade ago), the voice recorder app was so efficient, I was amazed. My son informed me that nowadays, practically all voice activated software is efficient. The hassle of trying to train it to understand you is almost non-existent now.
Since I have this newer version of the software, I’m looking forward to using Dragon (version 12) when I do my writing. I anticipate producing a minimum of five books this year, as a result of Dragon Naturally Speaking. I can’t wait to see how this new method works out for me. Woof woof!