Friday, March 20, 2015

Speaking to the Writer's Block

Speaking to the Writer's Block

Saturday, March 21, at 11:00AM I will speak to The Writer's Block group of writers at the Lucky Dog book store in Oak Cliff. For their meeting, I will narrow my "Technology for Writers" presentation down to focus on blogging only. Well, I will include a few extra data security details that every non-tech savvy writer needs to hear about like passwords and backups, along with some other tools writers can use to spread the word about their words besides blogs. But the focus is blogging.

One question that always comes up is when authors should start blogging. Some make the case that blogging should start the minute you want to be a writer so you can get your name out into the world, and blogging regularly will help you develop as a writer. Others say not to blog until a book is on the market. A few still say blogging and marketing your book is the job of the publisher and authors should focus on writing. But since almost every author on the New York Times Bestseller List continues to blog and do other marketing, those few holdouts are getting sadder and lonelier. Think they should blog about that?

Personally, I believe in blogging to support your book (or upcoming book) when you have something of value to offer. If you're doing a non-fiction book, your blog can be full of information and help establish you as an expert in that area. Your blog may start years before your book, and many non-fiction books are compilations of blog postings. For fiction, you want to start a few months before your book release to help generate a positive buzz about your title and your name. But that situation is more fluid, and I hesitate to get readers excited only to frustrate them since the book isn't available. We are so conditioned to get books with a click or two that waiting has become difficult. There's no simple answer to that question that I've found. If you have one, please comment below.

If you're near Oak Cliff, come by Saturday and say hello. And buy a used book or two while you're there.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Speaking to the Writers' Guild of Texas

Photo: Rainer Bantau
The nice folks at the Writers' Guild of Texas asked me to speak to their group on January 26, 2015. I had a good time, and I hope they had a good time as well. Many said they did, but they also seem polite so I don't want to assume too much.

Just like most writers, the member of the WGT were surprised at how many technology details it can take to keep your words safe and backed up. As I told them, I'm always amazed that non-technical people can beat their computers into submission enough to get any work done. I've been fighting technology for decades now, and I still get aggravated.

Since today's major news story concerned hackers stealing over a $Billion$ from banks around the world, now would be a good time to review your password system. If you don't have a system, and think your high school mascot remains a wonderful password able to guard your digital valuables, perhaps you should send me a note. In response, I'll send some common-sense passwords tricks.

Thanks again, WGT, and everyone keep your fingers crossed the hackers don't try and steal your $Billions$ any time soon.