January 2015: Be Fearless: Use Writing Technology
"I started writing stories using a paper and pencil.
Now, I have siri, galaxy, or dragon speak as options for my first draft."
Writers take risks each time they allow their stories to pour from their minds and onto paper. Why not take risks with the technology you have available to improve your product?
My high school college prep curriculum consisted of math, science, history, literature, and language. Only the business students were allowed to take typing and shorthand. (Go figure?) When I asked to take typing I was told if I was on track to go to college, I would "always have a secretary."
High schools back then had a tendency to be short-sighted when it came to women. So I bought my own typing book and learned to type the summer before my junior year. My used an used black "Underwood" standard typewriter. I had a love hate relationship until I discovered erasable paper.
After college, I did have secretaries, but that was short-lived. The day came in the 1989 when I was promote to a corporate level job at the headquarters of a major retailer. When I walked into my new office not only did I have a window with a view, but there on my desk was a computer. My director looked at me with a grin of deep satisfaction when he said, "We know you're a smart gal so we thought this machine with WordPerfect would serve you better than a secretary, It helps me with my budget." It was the beginning of my love affair with technology.
Since then there have been many versions of software and many computers models in different companies along with supervisors who challenged me to stretch my technological boundaries. Today's writer needs to befriend technology. Yes, it can be befuddling. It can drive you crazy, but like
a story plot you have to be willing to fail, overcome the obstacle, and earn the reward of human over machine.
Two technological tools I use and recommend:
autocrit.com (This is an editing tool extraordinaire) It goes beyond grammar checking.
Scrivener www.literatureandlatte.com (This is a story writing tool that gives the writer the option to write an outline, flesh out characters, move parts of the story around, and as one of my writing buddies said, "Write continuously.")
Please share with me and my readers tools you found that helped sparked your creativity and improved your writing.