Writing and independently publishing your work nowadays can be financially and emotionally rewarding, but it can also be very frustrating. When I first started doing this back in 2000, there was very little done electronically on the writer’s end. I would type my manuscript using Word and that was pretty much it. Once it was edited and sounding like I wanted it to, I would print off a high-quality formatted copy and snail mailed it off to the book printer. A few weeks later, I would get bluelines back for review and then send the approved version off for printing.

Then came electronic submissions to the printer, author web pages, writers’ blogs, e-book publishing, and print-on-demand books. All of these involved learning new computer programs and I’ve adopted all of them in my work. I can’t say I’ve been an early adopter of these changes in publishing and marketing. I tend to wait until the kinks get worked out of the programs. For instance, when print-on-demand books first came out, they had quality issues. By the time I started using the technology, the programs were easy to use and you POD books and traditionally printed books were virtually indistinguishable .

Lately though, I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed with technology. This year, I’ve upgraded my ability to take credit card purchases using my smartphone, added a new photo-editing program, added a new layout program, learned a new advertising program, and learned a new web layout program. Some of them I’ve picked up quicker than others, but I’ve managed to learn them all.

My latest program that I’m trying to learn is supposed to make it easy to forward web traffic from one site to another with an unnoticeable stop on my web page. It’s a plugin for WordPress that has to be loaded through an FTP site. I say that, but I don’t know how to do that, and it’s driving me crazy. Or rather, it’s frustrating me as I keep trying to get things to work. I sure hope that once I can get it installed and operating that it truly does do what I need it to do simply.

It’s amazing how much computer programs are a part of my writing work. I’ve been up for two hours so far today and I’ve already used the computer to check e-mail, research a story, write an article, edit a photograph, and now I’m writing this blog. By this evening, I’ve have used a few more programs, including PowerPoint for a presentation, which I will also be projecting onto a screen using a small projector that I purchased a couple months ago.

It’s just part of being a writer in the modern age.