Although I have a plethora of ideas on a variety of topics, I think any blog ought to have a general theme. I could spout off about anything, or I could focus my attention on providing my readers with some sort of consistent value. Looking at a lot of my previous posts, “consistent” and “value” don’t really come to mind. So starting today, I will focus my attention on a new theme: the geeky side of writing.
Writing has a geeky side? It does for me. And whether you like it or not, it probably does for you, too. Blogs, publishing, marketing tools — they all have technology components. I can offer tips and tricks for many of these topics. As a software developer, I’ve incorporated some things from that industry into my writing process. Some of them may seem odd up front, but if you give them a try, you may not be able to go without them after awhile.
Here’s a quick sampling of things to come:
- Using version control to keep track of my work. While it can be convenient to have an automated system randomly saving versions of everything in the background, it can be frustrating to find the version you want if you need to revert. Creating intentional, commented versions of your files makes it easy to revert to a previous version if desired.
- Agile project management is hard to live without once you’ve experienced it. Systems like Trello can make it easy to track your progress and remember where you’re at if you’ve been away for a few days (or weeks). A flexible, easily-changed system can help you get organized quickly and easily so you have more time to focus on your work.
- When I first started writing, I was surprised at how difficult it was to find a simple tool for first drafts. Word processors like MS Word are exceptionally distracting and tend to interrupt more than they help — especially in the draft stage. Trying something like Markdown can allow you to write without distractions and without taking your fingers off the keyboard.
- Publishing tools can be difficult to understand, whether it’s CreateSpace, KDP or WordPress. Some simple advice on these topics can be very useful.
So now that I have a set of topics, I’ll start writing. If I don’t post at least once a week, someone shout at me.
First up: the recap of the presentation I did on MailChimp and SEO. Nope, I didn’t forget. I just got caught up looking for a job.