Sunday, May 5, 2013

Seduced by technology?

     I'm really just a writer. But eight months or so ago I was going to use this commercial service to format and distribute a novel of mine as an e-book. It was all so easy. They formatted it. They were going to give me a copy of the e-book. I was going to check it for errors. Then they were going to distribute it, keep records of the sales, etc. etc.
     Then, being ever diligent in my preparation, I just did some additional research into it and found that it really wasn't that difficult to format the book on my own. So I checked into that a little more. And I found, hey, they were right—it really wasn't so difficult to do the formatting.
     And that led to a little more googling and downloading some free formatting software and joining a forum where people helped each other with the formatting. And then I got interested in doing my own e-book covers and I downloaded some photoshop software and joined another forum to help with that. And then I got interested in...
     Bottom line: I haven't written hardly a word for the last eight months.
     It hasn't been all bad. I've learned a lot. I enjoy having control over the process. I've made some great friends in the forums. But I've really lost my focus of being a writer.
     And honestly I think the biggest reason is the seduction of the technology. There are all these fantastic software programs (many of them free) for doing the formatting, covers etc. on your own. Just fabulous. I remember the first time I downloaded this program called Sigil (a formatting conversion tool). When it opened, it had all these tool bars, three split screens, so many buttons and colors and just so much cool stuff it almost took my breath away. I was like, Whoa!!!!!!!!!!!!
     And it's really pretty much still that way. I have always been  a non-techie. A  big-time non-techie, in fact. Now I just got done attempting to re-install my operating system on my laptop. I failed, mind you, but just that I would be attempting that on a beautiful Sunday afternoon when I could be out rollerblading or playing golf blows my mind.
     But even though it was scary (attempting the reinstall) and  a couple of times I thought I'd wrecked the laptop, it was also a thrill.
     I keep figuring I'm going to reach a plateau with the technology and then get on with the writing. But it's been eight months that I've been saying that now—eight months and counting.

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