Internet Overwhelm

Broken by Takahiro Kimura

I’ve been struggling with technology…for weeks.  Right now I’m in major overwhelm.  I get up in the morning, boggled with where to start, and then I read a timely blog from JANE FRIEDMAN asking why.   http://janefriedman.com/  Why are people of my generation so overwhelmed?  So here goes.

I’m 62, more techie than some my age, but still lacking in skills I need daily.  The problem is, I prefer to spend most of my time being creative (writing and art) rather than “learning the tools” to facilitate that creativity.

It’s also true with communications.  I love a good conversation.  However, having one on line can be difficult.  So many new skills and knowledge sets are required.  Unlike tools of my craft, technology keeps changing, getting more diverse, and more complicated (like viruses that are even attacking Mac’s.  OMG!).

I’ve had a blog for over a year, but after spending the weeks to design it and execute my design, I was worn out.  Regular Posts is a hurdle I’ve yet to conquer.  I returned to writing to take a break–which  adversely affects my newly acquired tech skills because when I don’t use the programs regularly, I forget how to.

To make it worse, when I do take the time away from writing to add to my knowledge base of Word Press, Facebook or Twitter, I find the “How To” manuals, blog instructions and videos incomplete, inadequate, or too complicated to understand.  In other words, it’s not well written.

I can stub my toe on a little thing, something I can’t figure out about a particular program or app, and it diverts me for hours and sometimes days, trying to find an answer–often to no avail.

The other problem is that there is just too much of everything on the internet–especially opinions.  I went to a Mac support group last night to get some help with GTD apps (I had to look it up to see that “getting things done” was exactly the help I needed) such as Evernote.

Everyone seemed to be eager to help, but in the end, I was just more confused.  They each had different recommendations, which leaves me with a “new” long list of apps to research to see if it will work for my needs.  I thought I had done that, but many of them pointed out problems and bad experiences with what I thought was a good choice.

After putting in hours researching and trying to learn the app with little to no success,  I’m back to square one.  To make it worse, I now mistrust my own judgement on “anything techie.”  And, messing with all this technology, I’m not writing.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love technology.

I wrote most of my book on the Ipad, using the Cloud to transfer it to my computer (and back and forth many times) for editing.  When it comes to research, Google is the best present I ever got!  Answers to all my silly questions with the touch of a few keys.  But can we trust the answers we get to the important questions?  I think we first must test it out for ourselves.  Again, everything takes time.  And that is the most precious commodity.

 

Despite the best intentions, technology created to make our lives simpler is at the same time making it more complicated. Dealing with the immense amount of new information poured into our daily lives is backing us against the wall.  How do we cope?

There is no simple answer–except maybe patience–giving it more time.  Not giving up.  And asking for help.

So, Jane, in response to your question, I give you one back.  Can you suggest an effective note-taking app for writers?

Also, is there an online community of tech help for writers (one where occasional answers can be answered for free?  And classes specifically for writer’s needs when we’re ready for more?

I know there are a million out there.  You’re the guru of giving writers information in bite (byte?) size bits so we can absorb it and integrate it into our lives.  If anyone can answer my question, you can.

 

Lets Begin

 

 

With all the radiation flying around in Japan, and non-stop human suffering, it’s hard to concentrate on everyday tasks at hand.  Having a sensitive nervous system that responds to tragedy by either shutting down or exploding with high anxiety, I try to limit my exposure to the news.  An hour in the morning and then again at night, split between local weather and national nightmare, is about all I can take.  To save precious time, I skip over the commercials by recording everything first.  That makes it near impossible to vote for my favorite American Idle, but it gives me time to write.  In the morning, I break up my news addiction with email and blogs effusing advice for writers.

When it comes to my own writing, in addition to working on my book, I’ve struggled with what to blog about on this website.  I’ve considered discussing women’s issues intertwined with spiritual insights and discussion of events I’ve attended.  I know I’ll use my photos from around my farm.  I’ve decided to begin with sharing tidbits from my favorite books that I’ve been reading on writing, both bought and borrowed, and accent with a dash of referrals to blogs that made me think and smile.

It’s tough to get a handle on where to start due to the plethora of blogs on line that bounce you back and forth, referring to other sites of friends and supporters. I guess I’m adding to the deluge.

For me, the web easily becomes a black hole.  When I fall in, there’s no time left to transfer all my scribbles on yellow pads that lie about my desk.  They are gathered from car rides, sleepless nights and early morning flashes of brilliance, and need to be loaded into my Mac.

One hopeful solution is the program Dragon.   www.macspeech.com/dragon It remains for now on my wish list, though it has moved to the top of the line, primarily because it would allow me to stand and move a bit while vocally transferring pen and paper to electronic type.  My old friends arthritis and fibromyalgia restrict my sitting  to preferred one-hour stints.  (Hmm.  There seems to be a pattern here, one hour at a time.)

Typing has been additionally handicapped these last eight months due to a severely shattered wrist.  While rushing, I tripped on a rug and went flying through the air, landing on unforgiving ceramic tile.  It’s taken three surgeries to repair the damage.  So, I’ve learned to type one-handed.  On a good day, I can use one finger on my casted hand which really speeds up the process.  I try not to complain.  So many have it worse than I and I know it won’t be long before I’m almost as good as new.

Anyway, I want to share the books and blogs that I’ve found valuable.  So, keep an eye out for my next post.  I’ve got several to tell you about.

If you are interested in my art work, check out my webpage:  www.trottownstudios.com

It’s still under development (I’m doing all the design myself and there’s lots to learn) so keep a look out for new additions to it.

I also have a blog about the farm  leafriverwriter.blogspot.com recounting our struggles and mishaps (like getting snowed in the last two winters).  Please forgive the absence of posts during the months when my wrist was injured.  I’m getting back on track, and hope to make additions to both sights soon.  There you’ll see all my animals: horses, chickens, dogs and lots of cats.  Hey, I’ve got to do something with all those pictures.  Might as well share the joy.