Friday, May 30, 2014


I'm publishing this post on the very day it's due. I don't like to work this way, but I've been thwarted by some nightmare computer situations. So many, in fact, that simply the thought of developing one more workaround is enough to send me screaming into the street.

It's not that I'm ignorant about computers. Quite the contrary. It's my affinity for technology that got me into trouble. They don't call me Granny Geek for nothing. I started using computers the moment they were the Next Big Thing and became available for consumers. I began with two: Apple 2e and another that was the portable version. I can't even remember the name by now. Both used the large floppy disks that held a teaspoon of information.

Since my newest, latest, greatest upgrade to Windows 8.1 on my newest, latest, greatest monster of a computer I've had nothing but grief. I haven't been able to post properly to Type M. I get an error message immediately when I log in. I developed a work around that let me compose a new post, but the publish option has been grayed out and I haven't been able to schedule. Scheduling ahead can be very important to bloggers because I've learned not to count on internet connections always being available when I'm out of town.

Rick Blechta is our outstanding blog administrator. He deals with all the Type M'ers questions immediately and is a very kind person. But I didn't want to pester him with this one. I put my problem on my ever growing list of stuff to straighten it out. I tackled this blog last night through Blogger help. Many persons were reporting the same problem. The recommended solution? Use a different browser other than Explorer. The site was working through issues with the new Explorer 9.

Nine? I'm already using Explorer 11! No wonder I'm jammed up when I try to do things that used to work smoothly. Sure enough, when I accessed this blog through Google Chrome, everything was just peachy.

Here's what I think is happening for those of us who naively believe that upgrades and new inventions will help up do our work. There are too many applications developed too quickly for one segment of the industry to integrate them all into their existing programs. Technology is moving at the speed of light.

Technology used to be a tremendous blessing for writers. Anyone who used to peck out a 500 page manuscript on a typewriter understands that. The pain of correcting a page!! Heartbreakingly tedious.

Now a number of my friends have told me that on-line marketing and all the opportunities for social media promotion is overwhelming. Doing a good job of keeping up is arduous enough, and doing a great job of keeping up requires a real stepper.

My main concern is the toll all this nonsense takes on my writing time. Marketing is cutting into my writing time way too much. Marketing plus fixing computer nightmares is seriously depressing.

So here's what I'm going to do. I'm by nature a scheduler. When I had small children I was fiercely protective of my writing time. I discovered no one, I mean no one, wanted me at 4:00 in the morning. I'm going back to my previous 5 days a week, 5 pages a day schedule. I used to stick to this routine no matter what.

In the afternoon I'll put myself at the mercy of the real world. I'm going to devote an hour a day and not a moment longer to coordinate and fix integration among my too many sites and applications.

I'm still cheerfully convinced that I can make technology work to make things better. In the meantime. . .


Donis Casey said...

I pick up my quill pen to agree wholeheartedly that sometimes rapid change does not equal improvement. And since I have a new book out in a week, I've been spending ALL my time, less eating and sleeping, on social media, and not knowing whether it's helping me at all. I'm guessing very little. I'm not enjoying it either. I'd rather be writing.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Donis, it helps. That's why the relentless guilt-ridden hell. We know we can always do more.

For instance, I've had a number of people tell me they always read my blogs when I mention them on FB. And eventually, I read other writer's book on the basis of their social media comments.

Donis Casey said...

I think it probably helps, too. Dang it.

Eileen Goudge said...

My IT guy warned me to stick to Windows 7 when I wanted to upgrade. He said he deals with loads of complaints on the newer version. He also recommended Google Chrome, which is faster and better than Explorer. But I share your frustration when it comes to all things computer-related. I just ordered a new printer and I'm already stressing about the hook-up. There's always some glitch. GRRRRR

Charlotte Hinger said...

Eileen, I wish I had your IT guy. I do everyone myself. So many people are wrong about Windows 8 and the even worse 8.1. I've had trouble with computers before but nothing like this.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Eileen, I wish I had your IT guy. I do everyone myself. So many people are wrong about Windows 8 and the even worse 8.1. I've had trouble with computers before but nothing like this.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Didn't mean to double post, but I wasn't through, Eileen. In some ways Chrome is better, but for some reason it hangs up on other tasks. For instance it wouldn't read Captcha code. You know, the weird symbols in "prove you are not a robot" It might now, I haven't tried it in a long time. They do fix a lot of problems with an upgrade.