Just When I Thought It Was Safe To …

So, having spent the past couple of months learning how to format my manuscript and load it into CreateSpace – then how to re-load it into CreateSpace – and then, once more with feeling, how to … You get the picture.

After all that effort, learning about editing, templates, making a pdf and creating a cover, not to mention the disappointment of the failure by Kindle to recognise said effort and instantly accept my manuscript to their website – as I had been assured they would by CreateSpace … I settled down last week to proofing.

Proofing turns out to be a delightful exercise where you re-read your 110,000 words for what feels like the 110,000th time and discover you have still made mistakes!

Never mind, I kept reassuring myself. You’re nearly there. Then I had an interesting conversation with a fellow writer who, most encouragingly, suggested that part of the problems I had been having, might be to do with my computer.

Now, you have to understand, this comes as something of a shock to me. I take great care of my beautiful midnight blue Dell laptop – and have done so for nearly ten years. Apparently, this length of service is unusual, not to say, almost unheard of!

I mean, I was aware that my version of Word didn’t match the ones I was watching on You-Tube whenever I loaded up an editing tutorial. Basically, I had to edit the editing, if you get my meaning. And I knew that Google Chrome had stopped sending me updates, possibly as much as a year ago, on the grounds that my computer was no longer capable of receiving them.

But it wasn’t until I investigated the murky depths of Kindle Publishing in order to attempt to discover why my manuscript was unacceptable to them, that I came across a small, but simple, sentence – something to do with the necessity of using an up-to-date browser. The penny finally dropped and I realised the time had come to buy a new computer.

I am now the proud owner of a rather nice HP teal laptop. Problem solved? Not a bit of it. Because now I have to learn – all over again – how to use the damn thing. Inevitably, since I last sat down in front of a new computer, the technology has changed dramatically. I couldn’t even make sense of the screen when I switched it on!

And, never having used a touchpad before, (I have always had a mouse with its own ‘dongle’,) things keep happening on the screen that I haven’t asked for, and the things that I keep asking for, won’t happen.

So, for the umpteenth time, it’s back to the drawing board. I’m allowing myself an hour’s learning a day on the new laptop, while I use the old one for the proofing process – on the grounds that it has loaded the manuscript to CreateSpace once, so I presume it will do so again.

In the meantime, I am stretching my brain not only to learn the new stuff I need to know, but to be open to discovering a massive load of stuff I didn’t even know I needed to know. And making decisions every day as to whether the stuff I didn’t know about before, is actually relevant to my life as I want to live it, or whether it is someone’s attempt to hook me into yet more commercial – not to say capitalist – rubbish.

One thing is for sure, this is the first time I have ever written my blog directly into my computer – I usually write by hand first, but this keyboard practice counts as today’s tutorial – and I believe I can safely say, it’s not the measured kind of blog I usually write.

Now, isn’t that interesting?



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