By Earnest Long
Copyright 2016 Earnest Long
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
Thank you for downloading this ebook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favorite authorized retailer. Thank you for your support.
Many people would like to write to have a hobby that anyone might do, to use their computer for something or to get some readers for their creative efforts online. Still, you would want to do your hobby better just as part of having a hobby. And, as well, you would want to have a high quality of work if you were going to post stuff online. This is only because people reading anything expect it to be good quality.
This book is not a comprehensive manual about how to write. Instead, it offers more tips on writing for somebody who has already read similar books or who does not expect any book to be completely comprehensive about such a subject. Nor might the reader want it to be. Somebody would not want a comprehensive book about something that was a hobby or craft that was worth doing as that would spoil the fun of doing it. So with that goal in mind the book offers these 12 more tips.
The reader could have read already Earnest Long’s first book 12 Tips for Writing but he can understand this current volume 12 More Tips for Writing without having read this first book in the series.
The 12 tips in this book are,
See What You’ve Written Better
Coping With Goal Setting Using a Computer
Manage Your Life
Do a Variety of Things
Writing about Feelings
More, Better or None
Hardware and Software
TIP 1, SEE WHAT YOU’VE WRITTEN BETTER
Some fonts, called ‘Internet fonts’, might be easier to read. These are Arial, Times New Roman, Verdana and as well just a few others.
You can choose to have black and white formatting throughout your document as some people find this easier to read. Also, it makes your formatting simpler to understand and remember how to use. And your colour ink cartridge doesn’t run out either.
Another tip is to use 12 pica fonts for all main body text as soon as you start a new file. This saves time formatting before printing if you want a larger typeface once you’ve printed it. And if you do use 12 pica fonts for printed documents, then they are easier to read and less strain on the eyesight.
With Times New Roman, this typeface makes it easy to read large amounts of body text. But you don’t want it for headings. For headings when using Times New Roman, you can use the Arial typeface. The Verdana typeface works well as both. To select all text and change it to Verdana, you can use CTRL + A, then change the typeface to Verdana. You don’t need to change the font size drop-down list at the same time as you can leave that alone. If you have Times New Roman and Arial, you can use the ‘select all text with similar formatting’ menu that is on the right-hand side of the Home tab. Then change the typefaces using the drop-down menu that is also on the Home tab. If you are using Open Office Writer or another WP program, then you can use the CTRL + SHIFT + DOWN ARROW key to select a whole paragraph at a time. Also, you can keep your finger held down to avoid too many repetitive keystrokes.
All formatting features such as Quick Styles and the ability to change easily what all the text looks like are not possible unless you start with a new document. This is because if you have used Save As and used different formats, then you might be stuck with these a bit in an existing document. And it might not be that easy to change it even if it is possible at all. To clear all formatting, first paste all the text to Microsoft Notepad or use Paste Unformatted Text and paste it into a new document.
TIP 2, WORK/LIFE BALANCE
Have something you do other than writing. This could be another hobby and it doesn’t have to be just consuming media. Think that if you make video, sound or pictures that you could use these as promotional content, advertising or for covers. To have time to do these things when you may be keen to write, you need to learn to use your computer better and be more productive with it. Also, you can learn these other creative arts software packages to be better at them and more productive with them and so have more time left over from these as well. All of this time that you save can mean that you have time left over to spend on daily activities such as cooking and cleaning and as well doing some exercise or reading normal things or things to help you such as health advice. These kinds of things make a big difference to your health as well as just stopping overusing computers with their worries about screen radiation, the amount of air above a desk or the circulation in your legs.
Your most productive time of the day is earlier on in the day when you’re less tired. So there’s no good reason you couldn’t just watch TV in the evening most days and particularly in the late evening.
Why not get up from your computer and do some exercises near your desk. You can do these a lot better if you’re not dressed in an office suit and you don’t have to get home before you can have a shower. And 10 or 15 minutes gentle exercises stretching and bending if you do them enough and regularly could really do you the power of good. Also, get up and do some housework. This is good exercise. As well, it is hygienic and you are able to find things better afterwards. And if you worry about muscle strains because you have been feeling stiff sitting at your desk too long, then you can always go out for a leisurely walk.
Also, read books on how to write as well as documentaries and radio programs about writers and books. This can reinforce your desire to be a writer. And wanting to be something makes you better at doing the tasks you need to do for it just because you really are more motivated. Plenty of things about writers and books on TV and radio or in other books will help the budding writer tune in to his or her new career. It could help them with what they might say to anyone who asks them about being a writer, with what they might think about it themselves when they have worries and doubts about it and it can even help them write better and have less stress. These kinds of shows can teach people about their profession and they learn about writers and writing throughout history. So in modern-day terms, they get the ‘company culture’ or they ‘learn valuable skills on the job’. Getting the company culture helps many people enjoy their work more and find it less stressful. Also, they can be the people who they are supposed to be in their jobs.
Perhaps you could go back and do some studying. You could do a creative writing course, learn from your teacher and chat to other students about writing. It might be helpful if you were just a student of any kind and it needn’t be one of creative writing. On any course, you would learn writing skills, learn about things around you and meet new people. If you are too old really to go back to school or college, you have a lack of funds or time pressures that mean you can’t always attend classes, then you can revise what you did in the past from old textbooks and notebooks you may have kept of your previous courses. Or you could get new copies or similar textbooks for these and other courses.
In a way, anything that is the written word, video or a picture is educational. They all require an education to understand them even if offered just for entertainment. As well, some things are often in the newspapers and on television such as social science, science, politics and history. So you might like to study them properly having already heard about them.
Also, when you revise what you did yourself at school or college, then that improves your self-esteem. You can see that you have not forgotten more than what you might learn in the future. As well, a good general knowledge helps your self-esteem. This is because it is a cultural convention that people have a quite broad general knowledge and not a very specific knowledge. And they use this general knowledge for talking about their lives and the things that interest them. An exception to this is people’s jobs. But there are usually cultural references around jobs as well that other people not in them can understand. And, as well, there is a general knowledge about any job, activity or institution that people will know and understand.
It can be lonely being a writer if you don’t know other writers. But then they say that you probably wouldn’t want to know any other writers if they also smelled as bad as you do. This is only half in jest because if writers knew each other, then they would find it hard to hide what they had been thinking about for their books and what their writing projects were that they should really be keeping confidential. However, once writers have written their books and they’ve been published, then they are usually quite happy to talk about them to the media. And this is perhaps the best way to hear about them than any other way you could possibly do so. Almost no writer is usually prepared to give tips away to anyone they meet in person who might be another writer. But they will do so if they think they are going to get plenty of readers for a work where they talk about it and where they will get the credit for their ideas.
An excellent motivation for going for a walk in the rain is if you know a poem about a rainy day. Or if it is a spring day, then you might know a poem about the spring. This could also be for any time of year. You can recite a poem like this to yourself as you walk along and see things described in the poem. As well, what would be the point of being a writer if writing did not affect people in their lives other than when they were sitting in a favourite chair reading a book? Surely, they would want to think about the books they had read and reflect on them. And they must expect if they think they are good books about the human condition to see things reflected back on them again in their own lives. Or they can take learnings from books that in some way might affect them and even their mundane everyday lives as well. Also, think how books you’ve read might have affected your own life. Or you can think how they were true to life or not true to life. And you can think how books have affected people you know. This will help you immeasurably to be a writer and not to feel stressed about your work. Instead, you will look forward to and value being able to write.
You can also think that there is no point being a writer even if you are just a hobbyist writer unless you are good at your hobby or at writing. An example of this is you might want to look at producing creative work in other media to promote your writing. Also, you could decide to produce work in other media as a separate and equally valued hobby.
As well, you can think that you don’t want to be a writer who can only talk about his or her own writing. You don’t want to as by definition of what anyone would expect from somebody no matter if a writer or not, you are just not a good writer if nothing else. As well, it is also something universally regarded as bad. And it is a poor excuse that it has anything to do with writing as a profession. Writing is about making readers feel good. So how can you be a good writer if people who met you in person couldn’t possibly know or like anything about you? You can’t be. This is even as well if it is not a profession or a job but just a hobby.
People in the past often did hobbies to socialise and that is still the tradition of hobbies there is from a pre-computer age. It is not possible to break with tradition just because you can use a computer and you don’t join a club or society. However, because you can put things online, then your creative output is a form of communication. Anything else would likely be just the same as going back to doing their creative writing class. Writing is communicating to the page even if you are only learning by doing exercises. And you don’t always have to talk to another person about it. Besides which, if you are published, then you are communicating ideas to other people the same as if you are talking to them. But instead, they are as well more fully-fledged then casual conversation or any kind of talking or discussion because of them being in a book.
It is useful if someone asks you about being a writer that you can say that you are something else as well. This just avoids talking about writing all the time and boring people from a sheer repetition of the same subject. No subject is so interesting that anyone would want to hear about it all the time. You could say that you were a video-maker, a photographer or an artist. And there are computer software packages to help in all these hobbies. The software packages are quite easy to understand and learn. And they greatly improve how well you can do your hobby over the equivalent paper or other alternatives. So when you already have a computer and, as well, you know how to use it generally, then these hobbies are easier to do, to produce good work in or to learn. There are, as well, other things you can say about yourself other than that you are a creative artist or writer. You could say if you made an effort to do them that you are a keep fit fan or you are a sports fan. Also, you could say that you have decorated your house to suit your personality or you have a cooking hobby. As well, you could say that you are a newspaper reader, keen reader about some topic, antique lover or art lover. Also, you can go out to the countryside or for walks in local parks. And other people can even know you like watching a particular series on television and talking about it. You can also have furniture in your house that is not just a flat pack and that you can talk about. Or you can collect things. As well, you might keep a very clean and tidy house or be very strict about what time you go to bed or about something else.
There really is so much you can say about yourself other than being a writer that would bore people. Perhaps, you can talk about other creative arts or other things you’ve done as well. You can say you have done these things as well or that you have done them equally. And you can do this if you are not so uptight about people thinking of you as a writer. But you could instead equally do any other creative art or anything else that is really just as good a thing to say about yourself. And with the Internet, it would not be such an unusual thing to say about yourself that you were a writer anyway. So don’t get too absorbed by it, but enjoy doing things a bit more than worrying about any kind of status. You might enjoy doing something else or being someone else perhaps even a lot better. Still, you won’t know this until you try something new and then see if you can turn your hand to it successfully and be any good at it.
Don’t throw things away that you do on your computer or delete files from your computer. You might just start a similar file again and so waste your time. This is when you have the same problems again that you want a file on your computer or on paper to help you with like your previous files had already helped beforehand. Also, back up any files on a memory stick or to the cloud so you don’t lose some and have to design them all over again. You also don’t want files damaged or deleted by viruses or by other people. So get security and anti-virus software and put a password on your computer. Also, you can go offline at least some of the time when you’re not using your browser or Email. However, if you are doing anything on your computer that you don’t want other people to see, you are posting stuff online or you are browsing for things online that you don’t want other people to know you do; perhaps you really shouldn’t be doing it. That might solve all your problems if you just didn’t do things like this that are unnecessarily stressful! Still, almost everyone finds online banking stressful and many find shopping online stressful as well. When you still have a good bricks and mortar shopping centre near you, then you might decide to go out occasionally instead of staying on your computer. And you needn’t write a book either.
Get out of your system anything that you feel you have to say and then you can stop saying it, doing it, do it less or do it just as a more normal hobby or for other reasons. Though, in the meantime you should take breaks and follow all health advice using computers so they don’t make you ill or unnecessarily make your concentration poorer that it affects your normal life. And even if you have a lot to get off your chest, then you can still work faster and more easily and so get it all off your chest sooner and better. Some people do not feel the need to post their works online but other people would like to see readers’ remarks and anything else they have heard about it. This is when they might have been enticed by people talking about it or have seen newspaper articles that said everyone was doing it and enjoying it. You don’t want to let writing take over your life so that you have no time left over for anything else. And this is less likely to happen if you learn the software better so you work more productively. Also, learning about the writing craft such as how to plan your work or more generally learning how to produce better work makes writing easier, quicker and less stressful. Stress from your writing is something you want to avoid. It is bad for health. And worries about writing can occupy your time and thoughts even when you are not actually writing or sitting at your computer desk. It is also a waste of time and gets you nowhere. Nor does it mean that you produce better work. Computers themselves can also be stressful if you don’t know how to use them properly, you have viruses or you get lost or damaged data.
When you manage your computer better and you write better, then you can have a better go at solving all your other problems that you may have. In particular, this is if you are able to use your computer without feeling stressed about it. And this includes health anxiety or getting actual health problems. You just need to read all about computers as much as you can from as many sources as you can as all of this advice means you work more easily, more productively and have less stress. Problems that you might have that can be solved by having a little extra time and feeling less stressed are that you can read more, watch more decent TV, have better social skills, do more exercise, have regular meals and cook for yourself, sleep better and clean more regularly. You can also do other non-computer hobbies more or just take some time to relax. Also, you are likely to do more research for your books and, as well, research the market more. As well, you will have better concentration for all these activities. You could also try out other computer hobbies if you had not used your computer too much already. Overusing a computer is also bad for personal hygiene. And that may explain so many of the problems that you hear people have that are because they have computers. Also, not taking breaks is unhygienic. And taking breaks may be all so very many people just need to do. Then, they would not have problems with computers. If people just took breaks, then you might not have heard half the things you hear about computers. As well, if people just took breaks, then all the other problems you hear talked about would be easily solvable even without extra help.
Almost everyone already knows all the personal hygiene advice that anyone might need. That is except that when computers are new then they really might cause more problems. They might cause problems on their own or they might lead to confusion about whether older advice still works.
Cognitive behaviour therapy and anxiety management can help you with your work/life balance. With someone who is a writer, they may feel compelled to write. And writing may reduce anxiety. But there are other ways to reduce anxiety as well. If writing is taking all somebody’s time, then they might consider other ways to reduce anxiety and not just use one way.
Another way of thinking about some people’s experiences of writing is that it is like an addiction. With addictions, the person who is an addict takes a drug of his choice often just because they are depressed. He may have good reasons to feel depressed, some of which can’t be helped. It is also sad for people who know him or her as well. One way it is sad is that they don’t get any better no matter how often they say that they’ll stop. But then, nobody can live his or her whole life for anyone else. Nor can they be there for them every minute of the day to correct all the worries and misapprehensions that they have.
A theory about addiction is that some addictions are better than others are. And a big problem with addiction is people often do things that are illegal. These things have consequences for them and others. Writing is not such a bad addiction. Also, any controversial writing that might get people into trouble can often just be replaced by more anodyne writing. Still, this also serves the same purposes of therapy or of creativity. Or, as well, it could be thinking you have said something to others when you have poor relationships in your own life perhaps. And it can even be better than talking about your real worries that perhaps nobody really wants to hear. The would-be writer might say to himself that they are not qualified to write about a particular subject that they are anxious about. And they never will be even if they read all the books available to them. So, they won’t write about it. And nor will they spend all their time thinking about it or reading about it. As well, they might just prefer to read some books without having to make it into art or part of their conversation. This could be in either their real life or their cyberlife. Also, they could tell themselves that if they have a goal to increase their self-esteem from being a writer, then they have to write about what they know. As well, it has to be art and not a political polemic. Nor can it be anything that is not socially acceptable. Making writing art and that follows the kind of advice about how to write often given to people in creative writing classes solves so many problems with writing. Otherwise, it is likely to cause people worries just from them not doing it right. And if it worries readers, then it often worries the writers themselves as well. So you really don’t have to write it. That is from the start as not doing it from the start will save time, effort, money and worry. Not writing it to start with, you don’t have to make hard decisions later about editorial policy. You could decide not to publish it at all and so have wasted just your time. Or you could spend even more time working on it and worrying about how to edit it that it was ever going to be all right. Nor is it any kind of a good worry, a good stress or a eustress.
There are many other tips given to people about how to write or what to write that often fall into the category of just being a better writer that solves so many problems. This is both with being happy they are doing it properly when they are writing it to produce a publishable work and, as well, with any reaction they might get about it once published. If your family or friends would be disapproving of you being a writer or criticize what you might say in your books even if it were quite normal for other people, then perhaps you should reconsider your career. You could still perhaps do something else. And if you are writing just because you are anxious, and you are writing really for no other reason, then you might reconsider doing any writing if this is like you. Perhaps, you could go back to college and study or do something that might get you a better job. Or you could do something that was a better hobby. Also, you may think about other ways of coping with anxiety that are better and don’t have a health downside or other downside.
TIP 3, TAKING BREAKS
Computers are often just tools used by companies in their offices for administration purposes. Also, they produce content for their websites. Hobbyists and professionals also use computers to create art, video and photography, text and other creative content. Really, though, computer users even in the home need to have regard to the normal work practices and health advice like that given to people who use computers at work. Otherwise, they can cause ill health and every ill of industrialisation and overwork.
The most important advice is to take breaks. After an hour, you should take a 10-minute break. Then you can work for another hour but after that, you must have a 1/2 hour break. Also, you need to eat and take refreshment. Your work area should be clean, free from clutter and well ventilated. Don’t ever eat at your desk. Or if you do, then remove any old food wrappers and old plates and clean off any spills or stains. If it is possible, open a window or switch on a fan to ventilate the area around your desk. The light in the room with your computer in should not create glare on your screen. This means that as far as is possible you should work in daylight. Also, you can position your computer, desk and screen to avoid glare even when a light is on.
Really, you should have your computer desk facing into your room and not against a wall. Alternatively, you can have your desk looking out the window. Where this is not possible in the room your computer is in, then you might move it to another room such as at the back of the house. You might do this if neighbours at the back cannot see you appearing to look out your window at them when at your computer desk. Neighbours are less likely to overlook your house at the back than at the front. At the front, you also have people walking past and in motor vehicles going along the road who might see you looking out at them to consider. It could lead to misunderstandings or apprehension on your part that it might look bad. So it is best avoided if your house or the particular window is overlooked. Another possibility is to block out a part of your window. Perhaps, you could do this even with your VDU. Then, you can focus your eyes in the distance on clouds in the sky or on another distant object without looking at nearby houses accidentally.
Also, you can switch your computer off at the plug as well as your TV or VDU. Even when on standby, a computer, TV or VDU has a lot of electricity in it and produces radiation. Also, this radiation is constantly seeping into the furniture and objects in your room. And you get a dose of this radiation when you go back into a room. Watching normal TV also means you get radiation. And so you should limit your total time on both computer and TV.
Try having files on your computer that are less keystroke-heavy as it is very important to use your hands less. Files like these might be video files or picture files. If you haven’t done so already, then try downloading some video or picture files so that you have something to watch other than using keystroke-heavy programs like word processors. Also, if you find it hard to get off your computer, then you might try having some EBooks on it rather than an E Reader or print publications. This is at least better than typing or making notes by hand at your desk. And it is not so different from reading text from your own word processor. In addition to being less keystroke-heavy than problem-solving, books have more detail than you might get otherwise. Or you may be able to find a video. Also, you can copy and paste from these books or from web pages to a WP file instead of typing your own notes. Try having some music videos that you have downloaded. These are often entertaining. As well, they are quite short and you can play quite a few of them without getting bored.
On your computer, you also have your notes and information in all your other files to refer to. This is no matter in what format they are in. They are all in one place to peruse and this might help you to understand a subject better. So you produce better of your own work because of it. As well, you can make a note about an idea that occurs to you for another book or a short story. And if you are researching online, then it is a good idea to have all your files on your computer as at least some of your work is on a computer. You can scan in paper documents and download video, picture or sound files. Then, you can compare them even if they are in different formats. And you can learn from them when it is so little effort to do so. However, you still want to reduce the amount of screen radiation you get and, as well, you don’t want to sit at a desk for longer than you can help. This is despite the benefits your computer gives you. The alternatives are paper or digital radio. A digital radio might look like an old-fashioned radio and not be on a TV or computer.
Using something else other than your computer to get entertainment, news or to do your hobbies is good practice at getting a better work/life balance. Remember, a computer is versatile. Also, you can tell yourself that if you read others’ stuff or you watch TV or video documentaries online or see others’ creative work, then you are researching the market and so doing your own writing some good. You may also save time by not writing a poorly needed book and by improving the book that you are working on.
Perhaps, you can get a Smart TV. Or you can use a lead to connect your computer to your TV as if it was a smart TV. This is so you have less radiation from the screen. And if you still have your computer screen on top of a desk, then you can get a bigger desk. As well, you should always take adequate breaks. Even with Smart TVs, you will still need breaks. This is because of the lack of ventilation when you’re sitting down or using a desk. As well, you need to get up and move around to increase circulation in your legs. These will all affect concentration if you do or don’t do them. Poor circulation sitting at a desk can eventually cause a blood clot that can mean you get a stroke or heart attack.
Generally, people find that having a good breakfast helps them concentrate better for the rest of the day. Also, some people find a long shower or a bath helps them to relax and concentrate afterwards. As well, going for a walk helps concentration remarkably. You get fresh air and you increase circulation. When on your walk, you are better able to think through problems. And when you get back, you can concentrate better as well.
TIP 4, EDITING FASTER
MAKE FEWER CHANGES TO SAVE TIME
A good tip when editing a document that was originally in the first person is that you don’t have to change every instance of the word ‘I’ to the words ‘you’, ‘he’ or ‘she’. Instead, you can make it clear that it is a personal experience. Then you just need to add a few sentences of explanation that say it is one. You can use expressions such as, ‘if this is like you’ or ‘somebody described how it happened’ or ‘you might think like this person who was…’
DON’T HAVE THE WHOLE BOOK IN ONE WP FILE
Sometimes the editing tools work faster if you have less text. An example of this is the Find dialog box in Microsoft Word 2007 or later. The tool that lists all instances of the word in a column can make doing proofreading quicker. But it can have too many results to show them all. This might happen more in a long document but is unlikely in a short document. Perhaps, you can proofread and edit a chapter at a time in separate WP files for each chapter.
You can use this Find dialog box tool so that proofreading and editing is quicker to look for consecutive sentences starting with the same word. As well, you can jump one or two sentences that are all right and go to the next one that you haven’t seen yet. This is more about proofreading than editing though it also might feel a bit easier to edit with only one chapter per WP file as well.
If you just edit one chapter at a time, then it is often a lot quicker as well because you familiarise yourself with the material. You should though if you do this have a solid chapter plan that means the book does not need editing as one piece. So plan your work in chapters and keep to these chapters.
Also, if you proofread and edit each chapter and when there are no mistakes you move onto the next chapter having declared the chapter you have proofread and edited is finished, then that will also save a lot of time. It will save time not reading material again that is already correct. You might have been working on it quite well already and concentrating. This is as well because you are more familiar with the material that you can correct more mistakes sooner.
Then at the end, you can copy and paste all the chapters together to make one book.
DON’T CORRECT ANYTHING THAT IS NOT REALLY A MISTAKE
When people have been proofreading and editing for some time and perhaps for over an hour, then through tiredness and poor concentration they may correct ‘mistakes’ when there is nothing wrong with the sentence. The important thing is to take breaks and to open a window or have a fan on. Also, you can get up and stretch your legs occasionally so that poor circulation does not cause poor concentration. And you need to do this even if you’re using a smart TV or you are sitting at a table some way from your VDU connected by a lead to your computer that creates distance between you and the VDU. It cannot be so much distance for radiation either that radiation doesn’t matter. There still is some radiation anywhere in a room with a TV. Also, you would not be able to see the icons on your television/VDU unless you were really quite close. The alternative to see the icons on your television/VDU more clearly would be a larger television. But that would have more radiation anyway just from being bigger. Research for this book could find no information generally available on optimum distances. Perhaps, you don’t want to play such a game with your health or do mathematical calculations like this and so you should just not use a computer or TV as much. Also, you need to take breaks for fresh air and to stretch your legs even with a smart TV/computer connected to your TV. As well, you really need to take breaks for the sake of radiation as well despite the distance from the television that you might be that is further away from when having your VDU on the same desk. Some people notice that after an hour or so when on their computer they begin correcting many more supposed mistakes than they did when they started their proofreading session. But others are not aware how much poor concentration can affect the tasks they do. They just don’t notice that they are doing something poor or doing almost nothing at all. Also, you can make mistakes from poor concentration if you have already been on your computer a lot that day or you have not taken adequate breaks when you were on your computer or when handwriting or sitting at your desk. As well, towards the end of the day, your concentration is poorer anyway. And so you may make more mistakes and correct things that don’t need correcting if you generally use a computer a lot each day and particularly when you don’t assiduously take breaks from it. Typing or handwriting is also poor for concentration.
CORRECT ANYTHING THAT REALLY IS A MISTAKE
Sometimes people when they are editing and proofreading their own work feel that they would get it faster into publication if they did not correct all the mistakes that they can see. This is such as if they were only minor ones. However, this is flawed. You will take longer when you see the same mistake again on a second reading and have to make another decision about it. So it is best to correct mistakes the first time around even if they are only minor ones. Correcting even a small number of mistakes can really improve the overall quality of a work. And this is however small they are. Also, anything that is a spelling and grammar mistake really needs correcting. Spelling and grammar mistakes are, in fact, major errors to have still even just one or two. This is in any manuscript anyone else will read and it is disastrous for any published book. Other mistakes people will notice and probably stop reading your book because of are paragraphs with inconsistent use of first, second or third person, inconsistent use of tenses and other mistakes and inconsistencies. The reader will notice and so you have to change it.
Any reader is likely to notice any mistake at all. Then they’ll just put the book down and not read it anymore. This is even for minor mistakes. But then, some minor mistakes are still definitely mistakes. So they’ll stop reading. Knowing this, there should not be even minor mistakes in any text you intend to publish. Nor should there be major or bad ones in a text anyone else will read. This is even if not published or read that widely.
TIP 5, PROOFREADING CHECKLIST
When you use the grammar checker, you can usually press more than one button. One button might make a correction and another button might ignore a possible mistake. And other buttons doing other things as well mean you have a choice of several buttons. You might be pressing the wrong button. For example, you might be pressing the wrong button to go on again when you mean to correct it. Then, if you rechecked the document, it might still not be correct unless you rechecked a second or third time. There is a chance that there might still be at least one or two mistakes after using the grammar checker just from pressing the wrong button, making a mistake typing or thinking of the wrong correction.
There are four important things to consider. The first is that you recheck it often enough to get all the mistakes. And the second is you can use more than one grammar checker when one might not find all the mistakes. The third is that you do not have so many possible corrections to make to start with by having good writing and typing skills. And the fourth and last thing is that you correct as many mistakes as you can so it does not show them as a mistake. You do this when using the grammar checker for the first time. And you don’t just click ‘Ignore’. As well, you find lots of spelling, grammar errors and stylistic errors if you first proofread by hand your document for bad mistakes and you use the two checklists given in this article and look at the whole sentence as well when doing so.
To recheck the document, you have a special button to recheck it. In Microsoft Word, this is found by going to Word Options, the Proofreading tab and clicking Recheck. And in Open Office Writer using the Language Tool, you have a Recheck menu item. This is on the spelling and grammar menu.
To check it by hand first before you use the spelling and grammar checker, you can try the following suggestions as to what you might be looking for in your document. The first suggestion is to look for overlong sentences and ones that have more than one idea in them. Also, you want to vary sentence length and sentence construction. One way you might know that your sentence constructions are not varied enough is if you have particular words repeated. Change the sentences to vary them so they are not all the same. You can keep some the same as they are but change others.
Another suggestion different from what’s been said already about repeated words is that there are certain long words and some short words that you can’t have too many of in one paragraph, page or chapter or at the start of consecutive sentences.
Words like these are,
However, perhaps, maybe, still, nonetheless, nevertheless
He, she, they, it, you, we
Them, then, there, the, a, an, this, their, that
What, when, where, who, how
Names of people, places or things
As, as well, also, and, but, so, if, nor, or, at
Never, ever, not, no, more, nor
Repeated use of any word too much
An example of a repeated word is someone talking about something more than once. Instead, use other words for it such as a slang word or you can use a pronoun such as ‘it’. Often words like this you might want to use more than once have other words that describe the same thing. Also, you have words to avoid that are too similar, such as ‘sleep’ and ‘asleep’. You can’t use other similar words too often either such as different meanings but that include the same letters, such as the, there, this, etc. Though, it is sometimes excusable to do so.
Also, you can look for consecutive sentences that start with the same word using the Find box and then choosing Match Case in the Settings. You can use spaces and punctuation to narrow your search. For the word ‘I’, perhaps you need to look for it with speech marks or punctuation if that finds more instances of it starting consecutive sentences. Use a period or full stop before the word ‘I’ in the Find box to find ‘I’ at the start of most sentences starting with them. Then look at sentences before and after when sentences might end with a question mark or exclamation mark or start or end with speech marks.
The reasons somebody might write poorly like this and make these kinds of mistakes to start with are that they were tired, bored or lacked imagination. So with any mistakes such as the above ones, you often find there are other mistakes in the same sentences. This means you can find mistakes without having to try as hard as you might otherwise.
Another thing to look out for like this is inappropriate metaphors that are often because people were not on the top of their writing when they wrote them. Metaphors can be categorised as adventure, the weather, disease, domestic chores, woman, sex and a few other things. Metaphors are not just a way of saying something when you can’t think of a way of saying it in plain English. They really do make a comparison to the thing you’re comparing them with. So there is a purpose to using a particular metaphor as it says something more than a plain expression. It could be about the characters that use it, the plot of the story or the theme. Lastly, when proofreading, try to avoid any sexist language or any other ‘ism’ or suggestion of it. Do this always unless that is what the book is about.
If you proofread by hand first such as looking for overly long and non-standard sentences or ways of saying things and no other things to start with, then you may find many mistakes sooner by doing this than you would have done otherwise. Only correct for all mistakes once there are fewer of them. You can correct them easily and quickly then. Also, doing some corrections like this before you use your grammar checker will find more mistakes and find more bad writing. And it will not show up the kind of corrections some grammar checkers consistently correct to that can be boring and repetitive and, as well, will be familiar to any readers who have worked in an office or who use computers at school or college to write essays. Then, there will not be too many mistakes as well that you take overly long using your grammar checker. Also, your grammar checker might miss some anyway if there are any. Or it can be confused by very poor sentences that it does not make any or no very good suggestions as to how to correct them.
Once you use your grammar checker, you need to correct any mistakes it suggests that are definitely mistakes. Or you can correct things even if you are not sure if they are or not. You can use either their correction or you can use your own. When it suggests something that you don’t think needs correcting but it seems to be saying it does, then rewrite the sentence in your own words so it does not say any longer it is a mistake. This, as well as finding many genuine mistakes, avoids too many mouse clicks when rechecking the document. Also, you are more likely to find any mistakes that there really are. As well, you don’t want things that are just badly written. But fortunately, badly written sentences are often flagged by grammar checkers as having some kind of mistake in them so you can correct them. This is if it doesn’t say as well often when they are badly written more directly. Somebody may have been writing when tired or overworked that causes so many mistakes in any text. But now the reader has an easy way of correcting these mistakes. And in the future, he can adopt better writing habits for his own writing to cut the amount he needs to do of proofreading and editing.
Using the grammar checker for a long time is not healthy as the body can become very stiff and the circulation can become poor clicking on the same button or buttons all the time. So welcome the chance to type in your own corrections, to use your mind a bit as well and to improve your work. The tips here can help to reduce the amount anyone uses a grammar checker for any writing.
And if you want, you can go back and check your work at another time or on another day if you keep adequate records of what you have checked. Ticking off on a checklist what you have done already and doing one thing at a time will improve your overall speed proofreading documents. You avoid duplication of effort and you don’t make unnecessary efforts correcting more than one type of mistake at once. Also, you are more likely to find all mistakes.
The checklist should have,
Column A. This is the manuscript titles.
Columns B to C. These are for the grammar checkers you have used and rechecked them in as well. Also, you can add more columns if you have more than two grammar checkers.
Columns D, E and F. Here you can check for consecutive chapters, paragraphs and sentences starting with the same word. For sentences, you can use the Find box. For chapter and paragraphs, you will have to do it by eye.
Column G. This is for proper sentences or overlong sentences.
Column H. Use this for a read through of structure and plot once you have improved your text a bit and it makes more sense. Also, use additional columns here for any other mistakes you want to check for. Examples are such as too much use of words that describe sight and no other senses, how long you spend describing characters to show how important they are or if you give more than one passage of description for them other than when you first meet them or anything else you want to check for. You can make it more than one column if you are doing them separately or just have one column if you can do them together and this simplifies it.
Columns I to M, is a read through to see that there are no mistakes left and the manuscript is what you want to post online. You can do it by each chapter up to a maximum of five or six chapters if that is what you have in your book.
The values for the columns are,
A is text.
B to H, values YES or NO.
I to M, the values are, 0 = still mistakes, 1 = read through once and no mistakes, 2 = read through twice and no mistakes.
And you’ll have a likely perfectly proofread and edited text in no time at all. As well, it is considerably faster to use checklists. Checklists already described in this tip are the one just given and the other one in this tip for possibly repeated words at the start of sentences and other mistakes it corrected.
TIP 6, COPING WITH GOAL SETTING USING A COMPUTER
Coping with your computer better so you do tasks quicker on it leaves more time for writing and for other non-computer hobbies and interests. Having a bit more time can solve all your goal-setting problems. Computers are often used directly or indirectly to do goals. Anyone who finds computers a problem may also have problems with goal setting and things taking too much time to do or to plan.
A problem with computers is overusing your computer that you have at home. And people may find computers as a subject of conversation loses them friends. Also, they do not really enjoy using one much. They may feel tired using one. As well, they may feel computers do not offer them all they thought they would do but use one because they are still fascinated by the possibilities they have read so much about.
So here is a description of what computers really do. They do these things and really very little more. When these are things that you really want to do and a computer helps you with them, then perhaps you will use your computer more. If, on the other hand, the description of what computers do has demystified them when before they were a kind of puzzle and as well, you don’t really want your computer for anything anyway, then you might not use a computer as much.
Going by popular programs that you have on a computer first:-
You need a typed copy only when you need to show it to someone. Typing even for a good typist is slow. And if you overuse your computer, it will give you poor health.
It would be impossible to do many calculations without a computer. Also, you can make lists. Lists are neat because spreadsheets are already in columns and rows. The main home use for a spreadsheet is a budget. And you can learn how to budget from published sources whether using a computer, a paper notebook or you use nothing. Also, you can save money without a computer but computers themselves cost money to buy and run.
This has advantages and disadvantages over any other form of communication, such as speed over letters, but you can’t hear someone’s tone of voice such as on the phone.
The Web is growing and improving. Books though are often still the best source of knowledge. But clicking on links appeals to Users who are in a hurry. You can now order or download books online.
This is for playing back video and sound. It could be a feature film, music or your own video that you had taken yourself on a video camera.
Using this software, you can look at pictures such as photographs or art. You may also be able to make a slide show in it.
This could be a word processor for doing creative writing. You can also keep scrapbooks of things you copy and paste from the Internet. And you can do recreational study.
Also, it could be spreadsheets for making lists or doing a numerical analysis of a hobby. Examples of these are such as lists of collections you own or the amount of time you have spent on a hobby. As well, you can budget for a hobby.
You also have video-editing, photo-editing, painting software, music making, sound recording and sound editing software. And you have playback software for playing back your own tapes. As well, you have software for viewing your pictures and art works.
Healthy Living Applications and Goal Setting Applications
A spreadsheet or app can record progress on exercise. You can have a collection of recipes in a word processor program or a spreadsheet. Or you can have a weight loss or other chart. Also, you have the time you spend on anything, notes about your goals or you can plan using a WP and spreadsheet. And you can go online for advice. Also, you can use hobby software to make art about something such as drawing ‘before and after’ pictures, recording a diary or making a video or multi-media presentation like those you see giving advice online.
Going by activity second:-
A computer is useful for some things but it is not so useful for others. It depends on your general interests what you find useful.
Speak to Your Friends and Family
Computers can communicate to your friends that are often already people in your non-cyber life. An advantage of computers to talk to friends and family is if they are some way away from you. But computers have very few advantages to talk to friends that you know in person. For giving your personal news and talking about things that you have been doing, you may as well just wait until you can see them. One possible advantage, though, is to share photos and videos more easily. This is because your friends can see your photos and videos sitting at their computer any time they want and you don’t have to show them on your own computer or mobile phone or anything like that which would be inconvenient. Nor do you have to print out photos for anyone to see them. And nor do you have to bring out a photo album that might have other photos in it other than those you want to show them. Still, if you are going to post things on social media websites, then people generally might see all your photos and videos.
Creative Arts Hobbies
Another big use of a computer is to do creative arts hobbies. You can do art, photography, video making, music making and creative writing. Is that about all the creative arts? Really, it does not sound so daunting when you have less than a half-dozen possible computer hobbies. It is a good use of a computer to do hobbies but only if you really like doing them anyway. If you don’t really want any of these hobbies, then at best you are likely to waste your time. And at worse, you will become ill or embarrass yourself showing poor work to people you know in person or who are online.
Make a Plan
Yet another use of a computer is to plan. You plan by getting figures on things such as how much more or less something will cost depending on how you spend your money to do it. Also, keeping lists is an important planning tool. And you can keep notes about anything such as information you’ve looked up online. An example would be starting a keep fit program. You can look up the cost of exercise equipment and read to see which ones you think would be best. And you can then think of the costs of buying exercise equipment and how it fits into the rest of your budget and other spending plans. Also, you can also look up advice on how to do exercise and other advice about being healthy. You can also do a spreadsheet to record your progress and improvement doing exercise. And you can make lists of all the exercises you can do and which ones you would like to do in the future that will better suit your age and sex and your general level of fitness and fitness goals.
You could also use a computer to plan a holiday and to book one.
Also, you can use a computer if you are student or to do recreational study. You can have folders of study notes and write essays on a WP. Also, you can use a spreadsheet for figures and numerical analysis. And you can look up things online and see text, videos, photos and artwork about your subject. You can also use Email or a website that you get to through your browser to send your essays to your tutor or for a friend to look at.
Entertainment, News and Sport
As well, you can get entertainment, news and sport on your computer. A computer can be a way of watching television, listening to the radio or reading.
See What Computers Can Do
Another reason to have a computer is to see what computers can do and what everyone is talking about. This is a good reason to have a computer but you will often want to do something on it constructively that is not just looking at what the buttons and menus do. Still, it can cause problems if you don’t already do these activities without a computer as you can find it hard and time-consuming to learn how to do them and learn how to do them on a computer at the same time.
Improve Skills and Learn
Learning about computers is rewarding like any learning. And like any learning uses the same learning skills.
Use Existing Skills
They say that some Users find some computer programs easier depending on the User’s general abilities and interests. For example, you may find word processors easy to use and quick to learn because you have an interest in chatting and communication generally. Spreadsheets are easy to learn when you like figures. You can learn more about your WP by making notes or writing essays on it. And you can take an interest in any subjects or topics you choose. You can revise your math to better use spreadsheets.
Things to look out for using a computer for goal setting are,
Do I have the filing done? You should really keep up with your filing. You should know what files you have and where you can find them.
How quickly and well did I do a task? Either this is from my own viewpoint or it is from others’ feedback. Can I use a computer to help me do it more easily and quickly? Or do I need more advice and information perhaps from going online? Get online! You can get a book on it. Except today, the book might be an EBook and not a paper book.
You can edit a plan on a word processor better than on paper because you do not have to write it out again. This is when the page is full or what you wrote is no longer clear.
A spreadsheet can do calculations that would take too long by hand or using a pocket calculator. A budget on a spreadsheet is the most important planning tool.
It is a probably a waste of time to have files on both computer and paper. And files on a computer are often more useful than paper files. Organizing your folders is important. And you might take some time to label them correctly. For paper files, there are different types. Choosing what type you want for your own filing needs is often the most important decision you’ll make for filing.
You might think of all the amazing things computers can do and the wonderful opportunities you have to use them. Thinking positively like this may mean you improve your computer use immediately. As well, you can try switching your computer off for a while and doing some non-computer hobbies and interests. This will help you to have more spare time for normal things. Also, using the Internet encourages book reading of both EBooks and paper books and other reading.
An approach to help you cope with computers is that you just try to learn more about the features of the software until you find everything that might be useful. It seems that some people can find computers stressful for years just because things take too long and are too much effort. And you may just need a few tips that will help you to do the things you want more easily and productively. As well, you might not have learned how to do the real activity properly because having a computer confused you. You might find that it helps if you learn what all the commands, the buttons and the menus do. And then you can use those commands that you find useful. Also, if you learn to do better the real activity, you might find that you don’t need to learn as many of the features of the software. You don’t when you know what features you want for the tasks that you need to do.
Another approach is to end the love affair you have with computers. Instead, you can see them just as being tools to help you to do things you might do anyway. Really, you solve many problems feeling stressed and other problems as well when you just end this love affair. When you make the effort to get to know the software, then you sometimes do not see that you had any good reasons to have a computer. Understanding computers can reduce stress that you have using them. You can do things quickly and easily often when you just take the time to learn some of the features. And you might just have a better computing and hobby experience. Today, you might see that a computer only helps you with anything and is not the thing itself.
TIP 7, MANAGE YOUR LIFE
In fact, ‘managing your life’ is far too big a subject for one chapter of a book or even for one book. There are literally thousands of books on how to manage your life. How to manage your life has been written about for centuries. Some are classics of self-help. They cover healthy living, budgeting, time management, social skills and other subjects. You might get helpful advice from books like these. The other alternative is to think that none of this really matters. And you are better off without the stress and worry of trying to examine every tiny thing. This can go on sometimes for years for some people. And it is sometimes just starting to read self-help books about managing your life that leads to the years some people have of effort, worry, shame and guilt. And often it is not worth it in the end for anything they find out or anything they can learn to do. You might worry about how to succeed generally. Such general worry is not often useful. Worry about how to do specific things can be more helpful. You just need to get a book or a manual on how to do it. Really, it is common sense. And it is something that everyone knows.
For the would-be writer, you might think that if you examine your life in detail and for a long time, then it will make you a better writer. Though, some people say it really is not necessary for most writers. What you need instead is just to have some good writing and some good research skills. Then, to be a published writer, you might need better skills than average. You can have the skills that you need if you decide to keep up your studies after you leave school or college. And then, as well, you need to have some life experiences about which you can write in addition to being able to put the words down on the page.
Or if you have not revised your schoolwork that much, then you need to make extensive revision of your writing skills. This is assuming you still can. Almost everyone after a time can have experiences to write about. They say this is just even having been on a few dates. With self-help authors, they really are not supposed to be people who have the same problems themselves. But instead, they approach the subject in a professional way. Still, there is probably room for people to write about their personal experiences. And that means they can write their own self-help book that they wished they’d had themselves to read to start with. This is if it still going to be something they will be able to publish or if it is just for their own benefit and for a bit of fun.
A motivation to write might be that you know a lot about a subject. Some people, though, think that you’re not the right person to tell others about it if nobody told you to start with. People might have told you about other subjects instead, but then you did not see why you’d write about them. As well, you might have been told some things and not others just because you had an aptitude for them, could do a job with it or profit by it. There may be many reasons people can see that you’re not actually suited to something and so they don’t tell you it. It could be a particular hobby or area of study. Still, frustratingly, they don’t just tell you that they don’t think you’d be any good. One possible reason not do something is a lack of a good education or any great experience of it that helps you as well. Also, you may not know other people who do the same thing. Another reason could be that you’re not physically fit and so would not be very good at something that needed some physical effort. Also, people don’t tell you things when they can see that you are still too young. Or they can see that you have raging hormones. Sometimes these have still not settled despite some people being older than teenagers who still have them. So others won’t tell you things that need patience or that need co-ordination. They might also see that you would be better at doing something when you are a woman and not a man or vice versa. People also don’t tell you things that they think you should know already. Or they don’t tell you things that would just take them too long to tell you even if you had an excuse as to why you didn’t know about them already.
Again, it might reduce to what your teachers told you and probably early. This was such as what things they thought you were good at. Perhaps, your teachers were right. Or, as well, it is just that you took what they said too much to heart. But, now, as an adult, you can learn anything else and that now you may want to. This is perhaps if you just put your mind to it and took the time to learn it. Anyone might have the basic learning skills to do almost anything that is just a hobby or is an art if they gave it enough time and attention. Or they could get quite good learning skills if they applied themselves to learning such skills when they didn’t have them already. This is even if it took a few years for them to learn basic skills they lacked or for them to become good at a hobby or doing art they had not done beforehand. They might feel that it was well worth it as soon as they started or they might not be able to see the change it had made in them when before they had not done anything like it.
It can be a good hobby to write short stories or to write other works such as non-fiction pieces. And you might enjoy it and not worry about it ever. Doing hobbies might never be a problem for you. But some people feel stress doing hobbies and feel stress using a computer. For example, they might stay up late and so feel tired and sick the next day when they had wanted to see how to do something on their computer but that took longer than they’d expected it to do so. Also, once they’d started one, somebody might not be able to put down a book. Trying to do things on your computer or to finish off a creative work when you lack the time to do it can be stressful.
But you just have to try to get off your computer sometimes and to take breaks. And don’t as well worry that you feel stressed. Stress can sometimes be a good stress. You might have heard research that says challenges are good for people and improve their health. As well, if it is a hobby or you are doing art, then you are probably doing it because you want to do it.
There are several strategies so you do not use a computer all the time. One is that if you’ve done something for a bit, then you can tell yourself that you can now do something else. This is even if it took a few days of almost constant work but you will now ‘take the rest of the week off’. Or if you had done something until the late evening, then you can just read or watch TV like normal for an hour or two before bed. You still don’t have to do something all day or do it the entire week, month or all of the year. Also, you should give yourself more time to become more mature as a writer. This is when learning how to write well is something that cannot be done all at once. Then, your stories or other creative works might be better, good enough to publish sooner and not as you might have thought otherwise later and you would know they were publishable when you came to publish them without having any doubts. Or, if published, they might be sought after by the general reading public and not have anyone who read them probably stop reading them feeling disappointed to have at best probably wasted their time. Why worry until you’ve written a decent book and got readers for it? Instead, just enjoy the ride!
TIP 8, DO A VARIETY OF THINGS
An author should really do a variety of things and not just write. This includes doing other hobbies such as art, photo and video editing. When he has done these things, he can use them as covers or for promotional materials. Also, he can use them as creative products in their own right. The reason to do a variety of things is that it makes the brain work better when it comes to doing writing again. You can concentrate better for having done something different for a while. And you are more likely to have taken breaks and things like that from your computer more generally and when sitting at a desk. Also, it reduces stress by giving the brain a workout like a physical workout and because it is good social skills and more of a normal life to do more things.
As well, different creative activities are good as a therapy in different ways. This is although they all work towards the main goal of reducing stress and often about the same things when done as a therapy. It is just that the same things are represented differently. So they require a different set of skills to understand them. So it might be that you do not have control over these things in your life just because they are indeed represented differently in different art forms. An example of this is somebody who can read a book, find it amusing, and admire the technical virtuosity of the author but when seeing an image it could disturb him and he might have no control over his reactions to it. You might regard an image as being like a still from a movie. Alternatively, there is cheap but still good video-editing software and photography software that means you can explore these art forms and do them yourself. People can be worried about a variety of things. For example, they could be worried about sex and relationships, historical representation of different people and things or they have had bad experiences of many kinds that lead to worry about the representation of certain otherwise normal things. Or simply, it is that they do not know enough about a particular art form despite seeing so many examples of it in the media.
It is a cliché that a writer or any artist is in torment from ideas in his head that he feels compelled to get down on to paper or on canvas. Still, this really is just a cliché as not having such torments can lead to better writing as well as it being a better hobby and it being just a hobby. It might however require an adjustment if it was originally done as a therapy. Somebody who is in torment might write poorly, type poorly and not take adequate breaks. And somebody who was doing it just as a hobby might be the complete opposite of a worried person. This is when falling between the two stools of doing it as a therapy or just a hobby or doing it professionally does not seem to work very well.
Perhaps, though, doing it as a therapy is a third way. And as a therapy, it can work quite well to reduce stress and worry. But it doesn’t mix well with doing it as a hobby or trying to be a professional about writing or with it being published. At best, you will find it temporarily stressful and at worst, it could harm your health. Trying out other hobbies that you do not normally associate with showing other people your work or posting stuff online might mean that you at least take more breaks and are more relaxed. This is when they are as well still computer hobbies. So it does not feel very different from what you were doing to start with. As well, it can reduce stress as has been said already about the same subjects and topics and it means that you can write about these things without just writing because you feel stressed about them and for no other good reason.
The adjustment somebody would have to make is to go back to first principles about how to write and as well, think what he was going to write. For example, he might have to think about what he really knew about, what made a good story and what readers might want to read that he could write well about or even write about at all himself. This is when some of his previous writing wasn’t just wishful thinking. Nobody might want to read a book that he wrote about something when he didn’t really know about it first hand at all but was just worried about it. For example, somebody might write about something that was only in his imagination. This is unlikely to appeal to readers. But then, this is as well above the advice that might be given that things you worry about are good to write about. It seems that some people generally do not know about some subjects even if they do worry about them. They worry about things that they really know very little about and don’t seem to have found out much about despite how long they’ve worried about them. Or they may not indeed have worried about some issues for very long compared to their other worries. Still, if they already have a writing hobby, then they might write about them immediately.
But then, it really could possibly lead to an imaginative work that others will want to read even if the author was just worried and nothing else. Perhaps, the story could be about somebody who was worried about something but you could make it something else he or she worried about. Also, you could make it less direct in other ways if you were quite creative in doing so that meant it was a good read. So, in this way, you could write so that a story really would be quite imaginative and get readers. As well, it could be enjoyable for both the writer to write and the reader to read just by it being creative and taking things out of the ordinary familiar context. Readers could see it as imaginative and a distraction from things they already know well. And possibly some readers would find the original context just boring if nothing else however the subject was tackled if it was done too directly.
Also, somebody might market something badly at every stage including at the writing stage if he or she as the author of the work was just worried about it. You need to give readers more thought sometimes for it to be a good book that anyone might like to read. And it is not just somebody like you that might like to read it if that was your marketing up until now. Still, that assumes that people like you would want to read it. They might instead just cringe in embarrassment or have some other not-so-good reaction to it. Then, they might decide not to write one like that themselves if they got anything from it at all. Perhaps, they have learned something from it like this. But that is not a good reason to write a book. At the very least, they are unlikely to read all of it. So some of it then would have been a wasted effort. It is usually better to write things that readers want to read cover to cover. So avoid writing like this if you possibly can do so.
TIP 9, WRITING ABOUT FEELINGS
How easy is it to write about feelings? If you have experienced strong feelings, then are they easier or harder to write about than less strong feelings? You might have had less strong feelings as well and so you know about them as well. This is if you assume that you definitely do have to write about things you know. Then it would be a good thing to write about. But if you feel something very strongly, then does that tell you more about it? Or do your readers want to hear more about it? They might get a better sense of a topic from having an extreme than less strongly felt feelings. However, some people say that having strong feelings about something makes it harder to write about it because of the emotional turmoil they are in. Others say that it makes it easier so long as they can find a pleasant way of writing about them. Then their thoughts don’t trouble them so much.
If you were to write a fictional account about how someone upset or annoyed you, but you made it a different time in history, then you need to make it historically accurate. But in science fiction, it does not need to be historically accurate as you can change things even if you based it on historical events and not just today. Still, there has to be some reason that it is different such as new technology. You cannot really write a mixture of different histories from different places and times and put it all in one book. Some science fiction authors have done this but their works are not always universally well regarded. And if you changed the characters that were doing it, even if the setting is today, then there may be things that you don’t realise about these new characters that did not do it to you in your real life. One problem might be that they would just not have done it to anyone like you. Or if they had wanted to do somebody down, then they would have done them down differently. Also, they may not have done you down if only for the reason that you have never met them and know nothing about them. So how could you have done anything to them? You couldn’t have.
They say that nobody likes being misrepresented, as this is even worse than being criticised. So at least find characters to write about you know in real life. Also, you could change the characters you write about so that they are not recognizable as any actual people. To do this, you could change where the events are supposed to have happened. Also, you can change the names from what they were in real life to ones that they won’t recognise as being them as they are sufficiently different. As well, you can write about events that happened a long time ago but bearing in mind some people will still be alive and will remember them. Still, if they were a long time ago, then many people may no longer care about them. Also, you can protect your anonymity both online and in your non-cyber real everyday life.
The best way to protect your anonymity is never to reveal your pen name to anyone or you don’t even have to say that you post stuff online. Perhaps, take up another computer hobby such as art of photography that you are not so good at and that you don’t have any qualification in but that is only a hobby. This is so you can say that it is what you do on your computer if anyone asks you what you use it for. Also, you could do other things on your computer that other people do generally on computers and say you do those as well without mentioning your writing hobby. Lastly, you can read computer magazines and look up computer advice about how to protect your online anonymity. If you do not feel it is good enough that it will help you what you read about protecting yourself online, perhaps don’t post anything online. And if you don’t start writing anything, then you’ll save time as well.
Often when the writer realises the limited number of categories into which feelings can fall, he or she may not feel inspired to write after all. Alternatively, having seen it being analysed just a bit, he is able to write more and to overcome the dreaded writer’s block. This may really be what he wants so that he can achieve his writing ambitions. And these apprehensions and writing ambitions might reduce after much wasted time, effort and worry to just putting down words onto the page that might make a good story with good grammar and spelling. As well, you have thought about your characters, the plot makes sense, you have written about something you know and any other advice you have heard or been given that is all you really need to do. And you don’t need to add anything yourself. If you did just what you probably already know or could revise, then you’d have done anything expected of a writer by most readers. And if you wrote just a half-decent story others could enjoy, then there is often no more worthwhile writing ambition. Nor is there anything else you need to do with your writing.
Perhaps, go back to some ideas that you may have heard a long time ago about writing when you felt writing had to be more. Or you heard them before writing became everything in your life because of how long you took on it and did nothing else. An idea is that stories have a high value generally to lots of people. Having a hobby or interest that is something that you do rather than just read about has value. Also, people need to keep mentally and physically active. This includes penning a story if you are bored. Alternatively, you could write to make money. Or you could be trying to help other people. Also, you can be paid if you are a writer and you do this. Or you might write to pass the time if you have a lot of time on your hands. Also, you can organize your thoughts by writing. This could be about things you have read, heard or seen on television or you can see around you. Or you might write because it was a long-held ambition to be a writer. It really is a good reason to write today so you can fulfil now such an ambition if you ever had one. You will probably feel happier. As well, there can be the addictive quality of getting more readers, reading more comments or otherwise seeing that you are being read. Or there is the addiction of creating something.
TIP 10, MORE, BETTER OR NONE
So far, in this book, there have been several suggestions that using a computer or writing can be time-consuming. Once you are a good enough a writer that you don’t have writer’s block, you have the problem often that there is too much to write that you could really do. And you have too little time to do it all.
Examples were given in the text that might help the would-be writer no longer to have writer’s block. Two of these were improving work/life balance and goal setting. These work by getting you to read other people’s books that is motivating to want to write your own works and that you can learn from how to write a good work yourself. As well, if you do a little mental and physical training, it often works wonders for you to be able to solve any problems in your life including how to plan the plots of novels or make time for writing.
However, some writers say that after a lengthy consideration, they still feel the type of writing you do for publication on a computer in a spare room of your home is too time-consuming for almost anyone. Even when they are off work, it can affect their normal life, their social life and their social skills.
Using a computer for writing, you are really doing two things at once. These two things are reading and watching TV. You are reading when you are writing because you have to read back what you have written and, as well, you have to read your notes about characters, the settings, plot or other notes you’ve made. And you are watching TV because you are looking at a screen. This means that you have less time to watch your normal television or you would get eyestrain if you did all your normal reading. So, by common sense, that almost inevitably will make you a computer bore as so much of your entertainment is on a computer.
Also, it is not possible even with computers to write a novel that quickly. Unless, that is, you really can have it not take all your time. Perhaps, you are one of the few to break the mould. Still, as more people have grown up with technology, the technology improves and more information and advice is available then fewer people might have problems doing any kind of computer hobby or with posting stuff online. As well, when more people post stuff online that it is usual to do so, then that also takes some of the pressure off. You might no longer think that it is anything that different or that it is as important as you used to think it was. And you will have friends and other people you meet to share your experiences with of all you’ve done when before you didn’t meet people like that. As well, they will understand things you say when today many people don’t understand what you’re saying however much you talk to them about it or try to explain.
Writing a novel can still take six months to a year for some people even with a word processor. You might calculate this in advance by how many words it would be reasonable to expect you to write per day. This might be as a creative effort such as finishing a scene or a chapter each day that would be a reasonable amount to get finished. Alternatively, you could calculate how fast you could write per hour using the input method that was speediest for you. And then you could think how many hours typing a day you would like to do. It may still not be more than 1-2,000 words per hour that you could type. That is about the equivalent of a typist employed as such working in an office who might have a speed of about 30 -35 words per minute if they were an average typist. As well, a typist who had a job in an office might be one of the few people normally who would have the necessary skills to use a computer and type adequately that they could produce a manuscript for a novel and even their own novel. And somebody who would just like to write a novel might have quite inadequate typing and other skills. They would almost certainly need typing skills to type up their manuscript. And they would need secretarial skills to organise their computer, desk and paper files. But such a person might in fact have very poor typing and secretarial skills. Somebody who worked as a typist in an office is likely to have done a secretarial course or have done a typing qualification that could take a year or more to get. For the home user, using speech recognition might be one alternative to using the keyboard. It takes less long to learn than being able to type. Somebody who spoke clearly, who had a quiet work area and who could spend time training the software might using this speech recognition software get speeds that were comparable to office typists. Working at the typing speed of an office typist, it would still take many hours to type up a novel. For example, dictating or typing 1,000 words an hour, it would take 100 hours to produce the manuscript for a full-length novel. This is without thinking time, planning and making notes time or proofreading and editing time. These could add at least double to the amount of time it took to write.
Some people, though, can plan a short story in less than an hour or two. But perhaps they make more notes later. They have the whole story thought out and most of the characters already in their heads. Other people might have to work for a bit longer on their story plan. This is so that they can work out the plot and write character descriptions if they are slower working or the particular plan took longer to write because it was not such an inspired idea. If you handwrite out your short story or novel first, then it could take the same amount of time as typing it.
And proofreading and editing a manuscript could take the same amount of time as writing it to start with if not more. If the manuscript had many mistakes, then proofreading and editing might take a very long time indeed. This is just from the experience of writing that some people have that it takes this long. When you really have made lots of mistakes, it might be best to rewrite the whole manuscript. Insert the cursor at the end of the paragraph and type a new paragraph. Alternatively, you can type over it all if you find that easiest. If you really do write poor grammatical sentences at the time you put your ideas and prose down on to paper, then it can take many more times over the time to proofread and edit than it took to write to start with. So writing a bit better to start with can save much time and effort when it comes to proofreading and editing. Rewriting it all over again can also save much time if you already have a poorly written manuscript you would like to correct. It might have your ideas in it or be reasonably structured that it would save time on starting again with a blank page.
Too long reading from the screen can damage your eyesight. Focusing on words, you are directing radiation to a sensitive part at the back of the eye called the fovea that might mean this area reduces in size. This area is a small yellow spot at the back of the eye that is used by the eye when it focuses clearly on something. An example of this is that you use your fovea to read. When you write a short story or novel, you are also reading from the screen at the same time often as you write anything. An exception is with touch-typing from handwritten notes or a fully written out manuscript. As well, it is not a good for your eyes to type and look at the screen at the same time as the words go across it. Nor is handwriting healthy if you do a lot of it. This is because it is not safe to look at something going horizontally along a line in front of you. Also, with handwriting, you can see small movements of your fingers that are also not healthy. Nor is it healthy for your fingers to write or to type as it wears out the joints. With speech recognition, the lines are inserted in one go, but you need to check them for any mistakes. Training speech recognition better so it makes fewer mistakes will save time as well. Using the full range of speech recognition editing techniques so that editing using speech recognition is faster also cuts down on the amount of time you spend reading from the screen. Printing a copy of your manuscript to proofread and edit on paper will also cut screen time. But a badly written manuscript that needs a lot of corrections or adding to is best done for other reasons on the screen. These reasons are that it is easier to see what you need to correct and correct them both at the same time. And doing this, you don’t have excessive proofreading marks on a piece of paper that you would do if there were a lot of mistakes. These are hard always to see what you have said clearly. So you make mistakes typing the corrections back in. Or you might spend excessive amounts of time in front of your computer anyway when typing in the corrections as well as reading from the screen. It will save much screen time if your manuscript needs fewer corrections to start with. Radiation from the screen is also unhealthy. It is recommended that you take breaks from using a computer and you do not use it for too long each day because of this radiation.
Ideally then, you would want to be able to write with the minimum possible time and effort if you write at all. Perhaps, you can use the input methods and recording methods that you find the fastest and easiest. As well, you would probably like to take the minimum amount of time and effort for everything connected with writing or using a computer and not just the manuscript itself. The problem with computers is that no input method and no computer use except zero is completely healthy. But if you still do use a computer, then there can be huge differences in how healthy it is by making just a few but still important changes to how you use it and how much you use it and for what.
To spend less time writing a work, you can do a number of other things that will help. You can learn how to write well by having lessons in how to write. This means that you don’t waste time writing a work that is so poor people will not want to read it even if you did get it published. You might regard that getting more readers for a work means it is worth all the effort. Or you are likely to want more readers whatever your other motivations are to write. Learning how to write in creative writing classes or from books if you can’t get to a class will also reduce how long you spend writing any work. Also, learning how to use your computer better may also reduce the amount of time you spend on any writing you do. For example, you might have a faster computer that can save time generally when on a computer. Also, you could learn more input methods and not just typing using the keyboard. These are such as speech recognition or handwriting recognition. You might find these are faster for you and, as well, they avoid using the hands or are less hard on the hands. Perhaps, you could at least use them sometimes. They might be less effort or more interesting than just using one input method all the time. As well, you can use a printer, you have handwritten notes on paper pads and pieces of paper that you might also scan in and you have paper files and folders in addition to your computer filing system. A printer can help you proofread and edit and, as well, you can read the work you’ve done that day if you worry about it before bed. You need to keep your filing up to date on both computer and paper. Poor filing is a major waste of time for anyone using a computer for anything including writing a novel on one.
However, how far do you want to take becoming a more successful writer with more readers if this means using a computer lots? If you market your work effectively, then you might get more readers. But then, you might not actually want more readers. You might not want them as it is only a hobby and you don’t want fame or to take financial risks. Really, you could pay someone else to do your marketing for you who might do it a lot better than you might. And so you will likely be able to get more readers. This does however involve a financial outlay that you might not get back in financial terms. And if the money was important and not just something that you could do without the amounts involved, then it becomes a business and not a hobby. Nor is it still even trying to get critical success or more readers. Even if you wanted to study business and go into business, then you might not choose to do it as an author. Instead, you might want something that would make you more money or have other benefits to you. Also, if you are living a completely normal life, then you don’t really want fame often. You only have to look up what people already in the spotlight have said about the price of fame and other things you read about their jobs to realise that you might not want it. This is with at least just a little imagination that if you pursued your hobby or self-publishing dreams more vigorously, then you really might become famous yourself quite soon just the same.
Really, there is a saying about writing that someone should write as much as it takes to tell the story and then stop. And they should not write one word more except for a little tidying up of the text. This might not just be one text but several texts. Somebody writes until he or she has no more to say about anything to anyone including him or herself. Once they’ve said all they can, then they might just stop and read a newspaper instead. Or they can do something else that is normal. Also, they can read somebody else’s novels or books. This is as if they had never even started on a writing career.
Nevertheless, it might not always work out like this. They may have developed really quite good reading and writing skills and creative skills that they don’t want to lose. Possibly, they could still do it as a hobby just using their computer but not being online. Or they could still upload the occasional creative work online. And this just keeps their hand in. But they no longer have poor social skills or health problems from overusing a computer such as if they kept going doing it the same amount.
Alternatively, they might think of new writing projects but now on a different basis. Their new basis for doing writing projects might be that they can write proficiently many words without having any writer’s block or other impediment to producing books more quickly. They can do research online, from the library or by buying paper books from bookshops. And they can reinterpret these for their own market and the titles of their own books that they will produce. They may just choose a title to write to that is a bit unusual or more up-to-date than most other books that are available. It might be a good enough reason to write a book just if it has not already been written the same beforehand.
Still, so many people are online, they could do their own research just the same as an author for any topic that they were interested in. Then, there might seem few good reasons to write anything at all. Perhaps, though, your book will fill a gap in the market for somebody looking for just that kind of book. It could help him or her by giving all the answers in one small volume if it was that type of book. Or it could be just the novel or short story that they were looking for. It might be about something that is very particular to them that they would want to read a story about it. And they could have wanted to read about that type of thing for some time before finding your work or your work could be a kind of shortcut to avoid reading too much. Or there may be some other reason a book caught their attention and that meant they wanted to read it.
But then, they say that almost any reading could replace almost any other reading. This is when reading has a purpose for some people that they find it physically relaxing or that it is something different from the TV. Also, almost any book about a particular subject could help someone interested in it. And anyone could learn about a topic from any book that was about the topic. And reading one or two books even if chosen at random can often give anyone all the facts and information or the kind of reading they wanted and tell them all they might ever want to know without reading your book. Or, at least, they would not be disappointed in it if it was just a well-written, well-structured and well-presented book. Also, it would have to be on their educational level or start at the level of any pre-existing knowledge they had on a topic. So why write a book yourself? It seems there are many books anyone can read about anything that you might want to read about.
Perhaps, you are driven to write. This might be by some kind of angst or you have a psychological need to see your work published. Also, you could just be extremely vain. Or you might just see no reason why somebody wouldn’t read your book as well as anyone else’s book. And perhaps you really don’t feel it is much effort to write or you have time on your hands that you want to occupy doing something moderately useful or that you feel is good to do. Or you quite enjoy writing anyway even if it was not going to be published. Still, publication will add more enjoyment to the experience of writing than just having your book as a file on your laptop or desktop. Or you might have printed your manuscript and kept it in a bottom drawer of a desk in your study.
Writing and being published might make you feel better about yourself for many possibly very good reasons. One reason is that when you have achieved something in your writing, then you are almost bound to want to share it. Others would want to read it just as good writing if nothing else. This is when not all books written are such. So if you’ve written well, then others would want you to share it online so they could read it and enjoy it. Alternatively, you might have wanted to be a writer since you were teenager. And now you can really achieve your dreams. Go for it! Today, your dream can be a reality.
As well, in the future, the book market might change. And so you have a limited time now to put your stuff online. No wonder you work hard and possibly overuse your computer and all the other problems you hear about. In a short time, you might have all your spare time to read and watch TV and work on your social skills. You will have all this time to read and watch TV when now you know that you are definitely not going to get anything published ever again. And sometime soon and in the not too distant future, the only way again anyone could be published will be as it was in the past. They would only be published if they are highly qualified in their field, they have unusual experiences to write about or they know the publisher. Marketing for computers people may have seen that are reading this present small volume is people becoming published authors with only a laptop in their bedroom and an Internet connection. Soon this could be just an urban myth. Today, right now, it is the truth! People might see it as an urban myth from a particular age of computing or a more optimistic time. There may be no room in the marketplace of the future for any non-professional writers at all. So perhaps then, you might try to get your stuff published now. Or you might not bother still if you have to remove it anyway when the market changes.
Some people think that now there is just this short window of opportunity. And they want to take all advantage of it that they can. People, though, might decide to stop before they have to from the market changing and them having to withdraw their work. It would be a waste of time to write any more when they can see already that it is likely to happen. Then, when they do decide to put away their pens, they can just switch on their TVs or read a book. This is when it might have been years for some of them that they’d had a normal day without a computer. They can then put aside all their worries about writing and posting stuff online, not having enough time to do anything else and all the other problems associated with writing. Worries were around poor social skills or around overuse of their computer. And now these will be in the past. In the future, they may have no good reason to use a computer at all. Perhaps, it really will have been still a good experience if now they just stop before it is too late that their health isn’t affected. So maybe if you had an ambition to be a hobbyist writer or any writer, then you can stop before too long. You might have already achieved all your ambitions you are ever likely to do if you have posted work online already. Then, as well, you will avoid a lot of bitterness, resentment or disappointment about it. Instead, you could have good memories not tinged with regret.
TIP 11, HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE
You need to learn the features of the software and to get good software particularly for word processing if you’re going to be a writer. Other software that might come in useful is spreadsheet software for lists such as checklists for proofreading and editing and art or graphic design software for covers.
Some people don’t have good computer experiences from a computer for their homes. You want to do all the things with them that you hear a computer can do for writers. But you have worries about it. You spend all your time trying to get it to work as well as you’d like it to do. And you have problems managing so many creative projects that you can do on a computer at once. Creative hobbies, learning about a topic of interest or about issues that worry you or doing more specific book research can mean having too many files on your computer that causes problems.
Yet computers are now more widely used and earlier problems with them have solutions. The technology was not as good beforehand as it was going to be in a few short years. One problem was that Home Users did not need software intended originally for business or professional use. This software was too complicated unless you spent a lot of time learning and using it to make use of the software’s many productivity features. Yet these productivity features could mean a task that took hours or days earlier might now take only a few minutes work. Also, many Home Users did not need this software at all. This was even when using cut-down versions or less complicated similar software.
‘For the writer, they need a fully-fledged word processor and the best they can get. It is an essential tool for anyone who wants to write. Any productivity features you get with your software can help writer’s enormously’.
The speed of computers particularly affects whether you can watch video on your computer. With slow speeds, you cannot watch video very well as it might buffer or not work at all. And this meant that many computer owners did not watch online video. This was, though, what they wanted a computer for. But when you had a fast computer, you could in a short time become bored. This was when you had seen all you wanted. Both the bored and the disappointed tried other things such as WPs and spreadsheets only because there was at least some software like this on their computer already and there seemed no problems with it.
Perhaps, computers are just a victim of their own success. This is when the hobbyist, vanity seeker or anyone who wants to make some money online can’t cope with so much work that a PC can produce. Also, you might find that there is a lot to managing many files compared to just a few files and in managing so many online opportunities. And this was particularly when you did not intend for a hobby to start a long, arduous learning process or to be an intellectual or academic activity. Often PCs did not work perfectly as well due to viruses and other problems. And this meant computers did not always do what you wanted them to do.
If you do have ambitions for which you use your computer, you should do them in a professional or educated way. Also, you’d solve your computer problems as you’d solve any problems you needed to solve. You’d expect anyone to solve the problems they had when they used a computer for work, professional or career ambitions. Also, you’d put your mind to it even if it was just a hobby. Particularly, you should be able to cope with a bit of computer software. You’d succeed in something you wanted to do just because you wanted to do it and you had decided to do it. And you’d learn a bit of computer software so you could do any goals you wanted and that happen today to use a computer when before you didn’t use one.
There is no good reason to have poor health and poor concentration using a PC. You have complete control over how much you use your own PC. Also, when you can choose your own computer hardware and software, you can have any you want. To have good computer experiences, you should follow all the health advice you get about computers. Advice is to take breaks, to have a good posture and to have an ergonomic desk. And perhaps you should really read some information about health risks if you use your computer a lot. Heavy users are often more likely to be affected by health complaints.
TIP 12, MEDIA ANXIETY
Keep up with your reading and learn anything as you go along. Don’t just give up on it because you are writing and that is taking so much of your time. There are answers to most things that worry a hobbyist writer. You might get bored and wanting a greater understanding of writing or a better general knowledge for the sake of writing or just for its own sake reduces boredom. Keep up all your reading and don’t lose hope that you can become a better writer. Don’t analyse too much and don’t analyse too little but read things that are relevant to where you are in learning the writing craft.
They say everything about human culture ultimately is a bit of a wobbly issue. It seems that there are some really simple and basic but not very good ideas on which so much culture has been based. Perhaps, you should not analyse things too much as they will not give you what you want back from this analysis.
There is a basic problem in creative writing that often people ask from a young age but don’t get proper answers to. And that is if they are going to write what they know, then to what extent do they use their imaginations? They are told to do both. But then, the teacher might often refuse to answer any questions they may have. After all, when you are writing about what you know and only about what you know, then you can’t embellish any of it by use of your imagination, which is just another way of saying that you’re making something up. So how can you know about it if you’re just making it up? Really, you can’t.
Almost anything anyone writes about is often just the same as the real world. It has to be as this is the only world that anyone knows about. This includes any author writing a book. About the only thing that is different from this are monsters, ghouls and zombies that some people say don’t really exist at all. However, there is still a cultural tradition of them that you can study and read about. And you have to keep to this if you are going to write about them. Also, inter-stellar spaceships or aliens from other planets don’t exist.
So any writer has very little new that he can add to any existing book except to say it in his own words. Alternatively, you can update a story with modern references. Plots have been studied. And there are only a few of them. Things that change are new technologies, politics and the economy. If you were not interested that much in politics or technology, then why would you want to be a writer? You might not want to be one. Yet, these are often the very people who become writers because they do not think that they can get all their information from a newspaper or from televised debates. And technology often reduces to politics anyway. It is about whether people have money for the most recent consumer technology, if technology has social implications and a few other things as well. Another problem with many books is often that you have the good guys and the bad guys. Who should be each one? Still, other writers’ books can give balance even if one book has bad guys who are only one type of person. You have to have the bad guys different in some way from the good guys so people can follow the plot, who’s doing what and who’s talking.
Bad people count in writing. This is because writing has to be about action and people who don’t always follow the rules or it would be boring or feel disappointing. Any book where the character hanged back from doing something would finish too early. You have to see what happens for yourself. Writing is often about extremes and not the mundane. This means bad things sometimes have to happen. A good story is often one in which people act on their convictions, or sometimes just a whim, and they don’t just talk about them. They do extreme things such as make war, commit murder, take risks and make long-term commitments to their goals. Also, they are often important people that do all these things. And sometimes, only important people could do them.
And really, it is often the whole point of many stories that the things that happen really are bad, extreme and unusual. For example, in crime novels it is always a murder and not some other crime. And often it is a serial killing. In adventure novels, there is something unusual about the military unit. They are élite or they are engaged in sensitive or crucial work to winning the war. Or they are oddballs in some way or rebels. For science fiction, new technology threatens to destroy the planet or to bring down the old order. And in romances, stories are often about the most mismatched couples. Their families disapprove. As well, they might both come from rich or powerful families. Think of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and King Arthur to see this. Or think of almost any popular romance. Horror films also have a high body count, spoilt rich kids or something else like that.
Fiction, though, really is often everyone’s stories. But it is just not always told as directly as normal life happens. Literary convention means the characters in fiction are often important people or they do important things. But that doesn’t mean a writer when working within these conventions cannot tell readers about ordinary people’s experiences. Many people have not been given a promotion or some other disappointments at work or in their private lives. But published stories about disappointment have wealthy important people whose first son and their chosen heir dies or runs off with a girl from another important family without either of the two families’ having approved of it. Or the beautiful daughter of a wealthy ruler marries a man who is very poor that she sees by chance. Other people have felt hatred or anger but not been a ruler who when insulted declared his whole country at war to revenge a slight made by another potentate. Nor have presumably many readers of detective novels plotted and carried out the perfect murder. This is despite maybe not getting on with somebody for years. And the list could go on.
There are many possible reasons to want to write a particular book. Also, there are many reasons more generally for people to write. A good reason to write a particular book is just that it has not been written the same before. However, it would help to research the market that this is indeed true or that something better isn’t available that you would not be able to write yourself with your own skills, knowledge and experience. As well, by researching the market and reading more generally for your own pleasure, you may become aware of a gap in the market. Alternatively, by researching the market, you may become more aware of what is regarded as generally good writing. And you can try to emulate this but make a few changes so your work is at least a bit different. Then, you might get readers on the principle it is at least a well-written work and understands the genre it is in. So it is going to be enjoyed and valued just as a good book. This is even without it being a selling point that it is ‘totally original’. Also, this might be if it was just trying to be original but it had not in fact succeeded. The reasons for writing more generally are as a therapy, as a hobby, to pass some time if you have time on your hands and it is instead of passively reading and watching television.
However, some people find it a problem using their computers properly and managing their time well. Good things to do are to try to take breaks and to try to do something else other than use your computer. This is at least for some of the time you might do something else. Also, you can use the technology to do more and make any work a good quality. Speech recognition will perform better if you train it to recognise your voice and you use more of the editing tools. As well, you can rest. And you can drink more water and less tea and coffee. Also, you can practice articulating well. And you can learn to touch type. Or you can improve your speed and accuracy if you already are a reasonable typist. As well, you can use more of the productivity features of your operating system, word processor or other software and get a more ergonomic desk and office furniture. And you can learn more about computers generally and make any other adjustments you want. You can also have a pleasanter environment when using a computer such as posters on your wall, use of colour on or around your desk, plant pots and anything else. Have an ergonomic desk and office chair and the best hardware and software that you can afford. Also, make all possible changes that are open to you to do so such as in the settings of your software, learning the software and having a pleasanter more ergonomic environment. You want to have the best writing tools that you can afford. This is as well when there really can be a health downside for how long you are likely to spend sat at your computer using a word processor if you write much at all. And it is really in almost every possible way and not just in your writing life but generally as well that a productive healthy writing environment can help you. You will still be able still to go out and do exercise despite using a desk if you have an ergonomic one. And better software can save you time, reduce the amount of typing you do, you’ll finish off work sooner and you’ll feel more relaxed. Often the stress that people feel writing is not due to the content of what they are writing or worries about the reception it will get but physical stress caused by a poor work environment. A better work environment will improve your writing as well as just not feeling stressed when writing it.
A basic principle outlined in this book is that you make writing as easy as possible to do. This means it is less effort and more fun. So this will suit it being a hobby if it was a hobby still for you. As well, if you are going to write a lot even as a hobby, then it is also very important that the work is not strenuous or stressful. You want your writing not to affect all other areas of your life in a negative way. Instead, if writing makes you feel good, people want to hear about your projects and to meet a ‘writer’ and you still have your normal life just the same as you did beforehand, then you really could become a writer. It would likely be beneficial to you. There is no good reason to be a writer though if writing gives you poor social skills, you do not do enough of other goals, you do not do any exercise, have poor sleep or it otherwise affects your health. You might write a lot even just as a hobby. This is when you want to do a decent amount of work and writing can sometimes be time-consuming. And it is common sense as well that you don’t want a hobby to be stressful and nor if it becomes work that you are paid for.
However, most of the tips this book are for people writing for vanity or as a hobby but posting things online that they really do want to look professional and to be well regarded by general readers who chance to see their work. Also, it is for people who want to give writing another go when they might have had problems in the past. You will find that your standard of writing improves if you have a pleasanter more ergonomic environment and better hardware and software. And this is really a secret given in this book of how you can write well that does not require any mental effort or learning. It just requires that you look up the advice you need including in books like this and get the things you need to help you. Then you will write better.
Also, the tips in this book will reduce stress you can feel about your actual writing. And this is for almost any reason that you might worry about it. It reduces stress as your work will be better quality, you will have been able to adequately research the market before publishing it, your book will not annoy readers who don’t want tricks played with their favourite genre and nobody is going complain that your book is just a plain bad read and a waste of time. And if your book is just a higher quality, you research the market, the genre, the characters and everything else properly, then that cures all ills for most readers. And it cures almost all possible ills for writers as well.
But you would find out more about how it does this if you just try to write on a more professional basis and use all the tools that can help you. You at least don’t write only because you feel stressed generally. Nor would you write things just for the sake of it without having a better idea from your own general reading, having watched television, living a normal life and doing a decent amount of book research, studies and market research. In short, you are a writer and not someone giving their opinion in a bar or weeping over their word processor. You don’t do this when you have a good life, a decent work/life balance, you do not feel stressed about anything and, as well, you actually enjoy writing and being the writer that you have always wanted to be.
So why when today you have opportunities online do you still fail? And this is when all you have to do to be published is just to put the words down on paper and not take the proverbial quite as much. The author of this work hopes that with this or similar volumes readers will write better, more productively and not feel stressed and worried or have writing negatively affect their lives. This is when doing creative arts and people seeing your work should be a positive life affirming experience. Thank you for reading!
12 More Tips for Writing follows Earnest Long's popular first book 12 Tips for Writing. Perhaps, you worry because you spend too long on writing, people call you a computer bore or you feel frustrated that you don't get work done quicker and then have the satisfaction of it coming out. Or you don't still get the response and readers you'd like when you do publish anything. Here are 12 more tips that cover many areas of writing but particularly there are tips for anyone worried and stressed. The book says that often it is only that people learn to cope over time and before they have learned to cope completely well, they need lots of advice of the kind given in books like '12 Tips' and '12 More Tips'. Still, the book offers some shortcuts that can help quickly make anyone a better writer. As well, there are some tips that will need pondering and working on for longer. Anyone worried over their writing should read this book!