Thursday, August 25, 2011

Writing and Learning

Hello and welcome!  This is my first time as a guest blogger and I’m happy to be here.  Thanks, Tabby, for the opportunity.  I wasn’t sure what to blog about, but sometimes inspiration comes when you least expect it.  I have been working hard on revisions of a manuscript to enter into the Golden Heart next month.  Well, I got it finished finally only to discover that I had been working out of two different files!  Half of my revisions were in one file and the rest in another.  Needless to say I was ready to cry and quit!  But, I didn’t.  Through a painstaking process and a few trials and errors I learned how to combine two documents into one in Word.  It’s actually very easy, but not when flying by the seat of your pants and doing it for the first time without help. Especially hard for someone like me who is Word challenged!
So, through my mistake I learned something new.  If it happens again I know it can be fixed and for a writer that’s a good thing.  Has anything like this ever happened to you in your writing?  I would love to hear your trials and tribulations.  Maybe even teach me something I didn't know :) 
Thanks for spending a few minutes with me.  I look forward to hearing from you.
Have a great day!


Allison Merritt said...

Hey Jennifer!

Good luck in the Golden Heart. You're so brave to enter. I'll be waiting with a big ol' squee! when you final.

The biggest mistake I've made so far is to not set my book in America. I guess if it's not set in America or England, there's not an agent alive who will touch it. I wish it was as easy as finding a word and replacing it several times throughout the document, but it's a lot tougher than that. The partial is with an agent right now and when I sent it, I told her it's very possible to change the setting. It is, but right now I'm trying to edit two MSs, that more or less have the same plot. Working in two different files is no fun. :(

Wouldn't it be nice to have a time machine so we could go back and prevent our mistakes?

Jennifer Lowery (Kamptner) said...

Hi, Allison! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, a time machine would be great for times like this. You sound really busy, lol! Hope you get the setting worked out and good luck with the ms! I'm confident you'll find a home for it :)

Brenda said...

Hey, Jennifer. Welcome to NN.
Oh wow, I am so not a computer nerd. Computers and I have a love/hate relationship--usually leans more toward hate. They scare me a little. My oldest son tells me to look around, push buttons, learn what the computer can do--you can't wreck anything, he says....I say, yeah right--just watch me!
If what happened to you, happened to me, I would be dangling from the ceiling fan. screaming :MY LIFE IS OVER!"
Good luck in the GH

Casea Major said...

Jennifer - I have done EXACTLY the same thing as you. I am Word proficeint and I still couldn't merge the 2 docs - Kudos to you for figuring it out. In my first MS - I made so many mistakes which I am in the process of revising now to submit. But the biggest was not including the Hero's POV.

Good luck on your submission to GH. Very thoughtful post.

Tabitha Blake said...

I have friends that ask me computer questions all the time. Sometimes I know the answer and sometimes I don't. The funny thing is most of my knowledge came from messing something up and having to figure out how to fix it. LOL! Great blog and good luck on GH!

Jennifer Lowery (Kamptner) said...

LOL, Brenda! I was tempted :)

Casea, it wasn't easy, but I managed with only a few copy errors. Good luck on the revisions :)

Me, too, Tabitha! Thanks :)

Jenna said...

I am technologically challenged and the first to admit it. Therefore I try to do everything slowly, ask questions, and learn from others mistakes. The best lesson I learned the hard way was to save your work in multiple places. And save it often.

The horror story had to do with a paper due for grad school that I was typing at the last minute back in the days of early computers. I typed the whole paper, tried to save it only to find the memory was much smaller than what I had written. Hence, no paper. Did I mention it was a final exam?

SAVE, SAVE, SAVE is my middle name!LOL

Great post, Jennifer. We need to think about mistakes more often.

Cheryl said...

Hi, I had similar issue and yes it was a pain to fix. But the worst thing I did was have my most updated MS on my zip drive only. I downloaded about once a week to my computer. Imagine my panic when my zip drive crashed. Between paper drafts and the most recent one my home computer, I only lost about 2 days of work. Which, was still considerable. I now have it updated nightly on both home computers, plus my zip drive.

Lesson learned.

Jennifer Lowery (Kamptner) said...

Thanks, Jenna! You have brought up a good point. I need to back up my work in other places. Right now, only on my computer. Gonna get a flash drive today!

Sheri Fredricks said...

Hi Jennifer~

Welcome to the blogging family at NN! And what better way to start your posts off than with a story about educating yourself.

I learned about saving my work too when my laptop harddrive crashed. Now I save to a memory stick, my hard drive, an external harddrive AND I email each chapter to myself. I've heard Dropbox works wonderfully too.

Best of luck in the Golden Heart!

Lisa Kumar said...

I know I've learned a lot about technology-- and writing-- from making mistakes. When I do something right and am happy about it, I think the emotion is made stronger because of the fact I intimately know the feeling of goofing up--a lot!

Kathy S. Fox said...

Mistakes, HAAA!! So many that I've reached genius status... that is, if learning from them is an appropriate gauge. Hope you score big on your entry, as I know everyone does!

Anonymous said...

Heheheh, Awesome Jennifer. For your first Blog, I believe you have said the one thing that we as writers fear the most...those horrid mistakes..we all make them...I for one know I will be making many more to's part of the process....great Blog...Best of luck in the Contest... : )

Jennifer Lowery (Kamptner) said...

Cheryl! I don't even know what a zip drive is, lol! Lesson learned for sure :)

Sheri, I never thought of emailing my work to myself! Great idea. I'm backing up files today on a flash drive and emailing. Thanks!

I hear you, Lisa. Learning is growing :)

Thanks, Emma!

Thanks, Kathy!