Tag Archive | social media

Technology and the Writer

When I first became a published writer, all I needed to bother about was to produce a novel that was the best I could make it. Today it seems that we writers need to spend almost as much time promoting ourselves as getting words on the page. And that means being internet savvy.

I confess that I’m technically inept. I know my way around Microsoft Word and I’m quite a dab hand at PowerPoint but beyond that, I’m something of a technophobe. My excuse is that I see no point in having a dog and barking yourself. Not that I’m calling my lovely husband a dog but as an electrical engineer who has spent a lifetime in the semi-conductor industry, I leave anything technical to him and have never bothered to learn myself.

Yesterday proved that such a philosophy can have catastrophic consequences. My lack of basic skills let me down big time. I was all set to give a talk using PowerPoint to a local group but it was a catalogue of disasters.

Problem 1

Worried__lookingTwo weeks ago my husband upgraded my PC and my laptop to Windows 10 and yesterday was the first time I’d used my laptop outside the house. I switched on and entered my password as usual but instead of letting me straight in, a message came up beneath my email address saying I needed to put in my password. I had no idea what my Outlook password was. So I picked up my mobile and phoned home. Continue reading

Set Your Goals.

My aim is always to write a novel in a year though things never quite work out like that. During the actual writing stage, I’ve always keep a record of my daily word count, but this year I started writing the latest book on January 1st. An excellent opportunity to get myself organised and set goals for the whole year.

MAKE YOUR GOALS SMART

SmartAdopting the SMART principle, a realistic daily word count for me is around 500 words. Allowing for life (holidays, social events etc) getting in the way as it so frequently does, I’ve set myself a target of 2,500 words a week – 10, 000 a month, which meant I should be able to write a first draft in 9 months which should be easily doable. True, that only gives me 3 months to redraft, get feedback and publish – a tall order, but I’ll deal with that when I get there!

Many of my friends write 2-3,000 words a day. That may well be possible if you have already spent weeks, even months drafting a detailed plan and much of the time-consuming research, but that’s not the way I work. I know my main characters – tour manager, Fiona Mason and MI6 chief, Peter Montgomery-Jones – the country where I set the story and have some idea of its theme and where I want to end up. For me, the fun is writing to find out what happens. Yes – it means I write slowly, frequenly discarding whole passages when a better idea comes along and I need to research as I go along, but after 9 completed novels, 6 of which are published, it’s the way I work best. Continue reading