Big Books, writer’s block, Kindle and e-books 2014

Back in December 2012, I wrote a blog titled as above (without the 2014). Now it’s time to write a second edition of it. This is the year of miracles for me. See my previous post, 2014: The Year of Fulfillment. What’s happened so far: I had a wonderful trip back to Western Australia to re-bond with my family over there, and came back refreshed and inspired. I have found my focus more strongly with my writing and my editing, and am continuing my journey in pastel painting (more on that another time).

I had what seemed a setback, when my Macbook Air stopped charging; I rushed it up to the Mac man at Coolangatta, he tested it and came to the conclusion there was a faulty sensor pad (it was just out of guarantee). He said repair would cost more than a new one, as the Mac air is so slim and compressed that parts and labour are prohibitive. So after having a hissy fat, with mental air blue with f-words, I bit the bullet and bought an iMac, plus a 3 year extended guarantee (as the iMac has the same characteristic of compression into a slim space as Macbook Air). I love it! Why did I stick with a laptop for so long? Cramped screen, battery needing recharging all the time; and as for its intended purpose, to be light and transportable, I find travelling with a laptop a liability: security, fear of dropping it, cumbersome to carry, light as it is. Now I can happily edit on a big screen, have two files open at once without one sitting behind the other, and I can watch movies my son has downloaded for me on a nice screen with great sound. I can easily take it into my bedroom where I have a comfortable reclining chair, to watch. What about having a computer when I travel? Next step is an iPad, which I’ve resisted till now. My hairdresser, a gorgeous woman, has been urging me to get one for a year. In her mind, it is higher on my list than finding a soulmate. I think she may be right. And I can carry it in my handbag. Which you can’t do with a soulmate; and you can’t turn him or her off at night.

And what else? My friend Marian, the writer, who is  hosting a birthday soiree for me, told me about Pandora, an internet radio station. Choose what music you like, she said, and I”ll set it up for you; you can have several stations and switch from one to another. I’d never heard of this, and usually I resist new technology, but this makes more sense to me than an MP3 player.

Next step? I guess it will be getting an iPhone so I can tune into my Pandora stations when I’m driving. And…. I need a GPS so I don’t get stressed out when I visit my Brisbane daughter, navigating through the motorways and then the tangled roads to her house. Wonders will never cease!!

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Big Books, writer’s block, Kindle and e-books 2014

  1. Filippa Araki

    You’ll be a techno woman yet! xxx

  2. Welcome to the brave new world, Christina!. I’m sorry we didn’t see each other when you were in the West.

  3. I adore my iPad. I’m on my second one now and almost go nowhere without it. I do have a laptop, but it’s the large MacBook Pro so it stays put here. Hubby has the full iMac. Oh and we have a MacBook Air for travel, because there are things we can’t do easily on the iPad. He carries that, I carry the iPad.

    But for eBook reading – which I don’t do a lot of – I prefer the Kindle. I don’t like the glare of the iPad screen and it’s not as nice to hold.

    I have Pandora, but don’t use it a lot. I enjoy it when I do. I also love the ABC Radio app – I can listen to the ABC wherever I am, both national and local stations.

  4. Well, you’re ahead of me. I didn’t marry with Kindle. And I don’t have ABC app… Interesting how our lives have changed. In 1999 I started my Masters degree without internet, and finished it without. Now the first thing I do every day is turn on the computer and check my emails, google my astrologer’s take on the day, and sometimes check my blog stats and even Facebook (thought that hasn’t really taken hold of me.

    • I think we were very early adopters of the Internet … we made our first hotel bookings by internet in 1992 … using aol.com. It was clunky, but it worked, and I was sold. We were living in the US at the time, but we were ahead of our American peers. When we returned from the US in late 1993, I was ready to email friends back there, but they weren’t! It took them a few years to get onto it. By then, my closest friend and I had started writing weekly snail mail letters and, although she now emails (of course) and we are both on Facebook, we still write the weekly snail mail letters, and love it. They now occupy several Lever Arch folders!

      Funnily, the thing I am not an early adopter of is the mobile phone. I have had one for several years now, and now have a smart phone but I don’t use its smart capability, and I rarely use it for anything other than SMSs to organise meetings, advise lateness etc. I never did like phones, and still don’t!

      • I’m with you re phones. I don’t have a smart phone for the reasons you state. But can see the point of it if I can use it to play Pandora in the car, or to direct me to places — though a GPS would be better for that. My mother would be astonished. I rarely use Snail Mail now, whereas she was a regular and accomplished correspondent. I have one letter of hers I kept; a few from my father; and lots from my children when they were little and separated from me. They are precious in a way emails can never be. Like books can be, in a different way. There’s something about paper….

      • There is … about paper I mean. Yes, that’s true about playing Pandora in the car.

  5. Hello. I found your blog through the original writer’s block and Kindle post because I’d done a Google search on almost exactly that phrase. I’ll admit to not reading the posts between that one and this, but it sounds like you decided not to Kindle publish? That may have been smart.

    I did Kindle publish my last book in 2011, and now I’m dealing with the fear it may have been my last book. Ever since, I haven’t been able to finish a thing. I’ve started a couple of books I was excited about, but they each died about 50 pages in. I’ve been writing since I was six and never had this happen for this long before.

    I think by publishing on Kindle, I gave up on my lifelong dream of traditional publication. I’d always sworn I’d never self-publish, but with that last book, I got an agent to request the full manuscript. She read it and replied that five years earlier she would have taken the project on, but in the current market, she couldn’t take the risk. That was when I decided to Kindle publish–apparently I’d gotten my writing to a point that was “good enough”, the market just wasn’t good enough anymore. However, it seems to have changed something in me. I didn’t enjoy Kindle publishing and won’t do it again, but I can’t seem to make myself believe there’s a chance of traditional publication anymore. I tell myself if I’m a writer I should write just for myself, but so far that hasn’t been enough to get me through.

    It’s not all bad–this drought has made me turn to other creative outlets, and I’ve discovered a love for photography. I really miss writing, though, and I can’t quite understand what happened. I guess I’m writing all this here to present another perspective for anyone considering Kindle publication.

    • Hello, lovely to hear from you. It sounds as though we’ve had a similar experience around publishing. I’m glad to hear about your experience of publishing on Kindle, as I have got cold feet about it. And also about e-publishing through an e-publisher, and/or print on demand. Interesting, what your agent said about publishing. That is very much my impression too, that the market has narrowed and got much more commercial and unwelcoming to new/emerging writers.
      As for writing for oneself, it seems to lack something doesn’t it? A writer needs readers, just like you need someone to have a conversation with rather than talking to yourself. And art needs to be seen. Like you, I discovered a love for art, in my case pastel painting, but again, you can either paint for yourself and family, or hang your work in amateur exhibitions, but it’s a huge step between that and selling it. I don’t want to sell my originals, but have made prints of them, mostly in the form of cards. Everyone who’s seen them loves them, but few have sold.
      So like you, I”m wondering what happened. I’ve lost the urge to paint lately, and have turned back to my writing, with the encouragement of a writer friend. I’ve finished my childhood memoir, and am revisiting my memoir of early adult years. I’ll have another go at traditional publishing, and if no go, will think again.
      I think it’s the lack of an audience that dries up the creative stream.

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