Tag Archives: tip

Writer Tech Trouble

pcillustratorThe other day I had some issues with my computer. It’s not a huge problem for me because I know how to take them apart and fix them, or get into the DOS settings and troubleshoot. Since the computer is vital to writers, I felt I’d share some tips that might help you out if you have problems and don’t want to lose your work.

Set your word processor to save every few minutes.

MS Word- autosave tutorial

OpenOffice autosave tutorial

Back up your file to a cloud drive. I also recommend backing up to a USB periodically. I use my Dropbox folder as the My Documents folder on my computer. This way, if I get a crash and need to format or get a new computer, everything is already saved and synced through the Internet.

Dropbox (free) If you sign up via the link, I get more space. If you sign up, you can get more space by getting people to sign up too.

Icloud- (free) If you have an iPhone, you probably already have an icloud account.

OneDrive (try for free) If you use MS Office, you may already have an OneDrive account.

Be sure to have your antivirus software update regularly. This means not only to update ‘definitions’ but also the program itself. Make sure settings scan the computer regularly.

Avast antivirus (free)

AVG antivirus (free)

Install anti-malware. I recommend Malwarebytes or Spybot. You can also install these programs on a USB drive and run a scan from the drive.

Malwarebytes (free)

Spybot (free)

Corrupted files. Sometimes with word processors, the file you save gets corrupted.  

MS Word document recovery.

OpenOffice documents recovery.

Make boot discs for your computer. A boot disc helps with fixing problems with the computer with a simple restart of the system. How to do this will depend on the version of Windows you have, and sometimes even the make/model of the computer.

How to create repair discs for your computer.

How to make bootable USB, CD, or DVD to install Windows using a ISO file.

If you have any questions, please leave in comments or email me at frootbat31@yahoo.com.

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Tip: MS Word- insert copyright symbol

Copyright

And why should you know this tip? Writers often ask me how to add copyright when they start sharing their writing online. Know that as soon as you put your writing to paper, it is copyrighted automatically but it’s proving that you own the writing will come into question.

Could someone still steal your work? Yes, they can, but keep files of your work, and take care to who you share.

My writer’s group often share our work and in the ten years of sharing, no one has plagiarized someone else’s work.

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Cleaning your office space

I found this video on the topic of cleaning one’s office space, and wanted to share my own tips in addition to the helpful video;

  • Clean up. I wipe down my computer, tablet, and iPhone daily. I’m sure they get messy and germy, so using a wet wipe or paper towel with rubbing alcohol (because it evaporates very quickly) helps to clean but also disinfects surfaces.
  • Use dry boards and corkboard. My husband included a back wall for my desk shelves made out of corkboard. I can now post notes and calendars in front of me. I also have a half whiteboard, half bulletin board on the wall next to me. Here, I’ll post the important stuff I need to get done today, and my schedules, as well as project lists. Also consider, this enables me to move vertically with my paperwork. The most important get posted up on the wall.
  • Backup files regularly. Part of my work includes offering backing up files, but too often I encounter clients who forget and lose valuable files due to viruses or computer crashes. You can use USB flash drives (also called thumb drives), or cloud drives to back up the important stuff- DO THIS REGULARLY!
  • Follow the rule that if you don’t use something within a week, it gets put out of the way. If I don’t use something for a month or so, I consider getting rid of it.
  • Store supplies. I opened up a lot of space on my desk by half-ing my supplies. I cut in half the paper clips, rubber bands, and pens, and put the rest of the stuff into a box in a closet for using later.
  • Create zones. Even on something like a desk, you can create zones for work, play, hobbies and so forth. For instance, the left half of my desk gets used for crafts and projects, while the right half is zoned for work related things. I also have shelves dedicated to my writing, another for office supplies, another for electronics like chargers, and a shelf for marketing materials.

And here is the video:

 

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Sunday Musings- What I’ve learned about writing…

writing

The last writer’s meetup included the topic of ‘what we’ve learned about writing’. So I felt this might help some others writers out there who are just starting out.

Grammar and punctuation are important. I’m stunned by the number of writers who think lightly of grammar and punctuation. There are the tools of the trade, and are just as vital to story crafting as character, plot, and the other elements of a good novel. They also touch upon a writer’s skill with words. If you blog and can’t remember to punctuate correctly, how can readers consider you a ‘good’ writer?

You need to start a story with the conflict. Books of the old days included lots of back story and/or description. Published books of the modern era now expect the author to throw the reader smack dab into the middle of the troubles and carry them along to the end.

Writer rules are often guidelines, but you still need to learn the rules to know when, and how, to break them. For any rule someone lists as as a rule for writing, you can find something that is published that broke that rule. There are exceptions, of course, but more importantly, reasons as to why the ‘rule’ was broken. Learn em and know the difference.

You need to understand the business side to writing if you hope to publish. Publishing companies are naturally looking for good stories, but they are a business looking for a sellable product. Business also includes marketing that weather you self-publish or go with a brick-and-mortar publishing company, you still need to understand how to market your writing.

Post below your own tips on what you’ve learned along the writer’s journey.

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