I’m working on a new computer. I finally acquired a laptop mostly so I could enjoy working outside with a view of our lovely forest. The days have been blissful, so I want to be outside, and being tethered to a landline was hindering me.
That said, the learning curve is a bit stressful. The computer comes with updated software. The keyboard is different, I can’t stand the touch-screen mouse, and my links are gone. There are no folders with all the work I look at each day.
With Nicola’s help, I’ve customized, added, updated, and am slowly learning new processes (Sorry for those late night stupid questions, Nicola!). With my husband’s help, I’ve transferred essential files, photos and apps.
The most astounding thing is the Microsoft Word program. I’ve been using Word 2007 since, well…2007. Now, I’ve been introduced to Word 2010. Things have changed. And yet they haven’t. All the elements are there, they’ve simply been arranged to accommodate new features. Word is more powerful than ever. Nicola explained that I could customize the keyboard right away to aid in learning it. However, I resisted, wanting to know how the features worked and where they were before I changed them. After a day of editing, slowly and with great clunky-ness, I felt I understood the process and customized the toolbar using the instructions she sent.
It occurred to me that our authors do much the same. They take a specific set of parameters, boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-girl-back and a Happy Ever After, and customize to the individual tastes of their readers. Sometimes, they throw out a rule in favor of the story, much like I did with the mouse – I simply bought a wireless mouse and now use it.
Our authors are not tethered to a formula. They simply have to work within the confines of a genre that demands certain elements. Beyond that, every manuscript I read is a new experience, to be savored, to learn, and to grow.
Learning a new way to use a tried and true method isn’t so bad after all, despite my frustrations at first.
Writing within the confines of the Christian environment is simply a way to affirm the love of God, and a fresh approach to an old concept.
Keep learning, keep writing.