3 Ways to become Confident with Technology as a 50+ year old newbie Writer

tech savvy Jun 01, 2020

Whether you like to admit it or not, growing up without technology in your teenage years and early twenties can have an effect on how you are prepared to learn it now. You know, those years where you’re learning your trade and your starting your first career. Those are the years that tend to cement in your processes with how you like to work and what tools you like to work with.

Technology is so ingrained in almost all our daily dealings that it’s either get-on-board or lose touch completely.

Even if you are familiar and comfortable with everyday tech (such as email, the internet and some social media), odds are if you are taking on a new career as a writer there will be a lot of software you are not familiar with.

These are crazy times as we are surrounded by a pandemic and our new ‘normal’ is still unknown. However, with the loss of so many jobs and with the various phases of lockdown and social distancing, using your skill to write is becoming a very popular alternative.

 

Writing is not just about the words

Whether you want to publish that book in you, write a fiction series or start a blog, the art of writing is not just about the words these days. It’s also about how you share them, what format that takes (print book, eBook, Social Media snippets of your work with images and possibly video) is totally up to your imagination.

For a newbie writer who is over 50 the challenge is more about the technology than the writing itself. After all, you’ve been writing in some form or other for decades now.

 

Which software is best to write with is usually the 1st question

If you have been in an office type career for years you will likely know Microsoft Word and think of starting there. That can work, but there are much better options for writing as a new career which enable you to focus on the writing without all the painful and fussy formatting issue that usually accompany any version of Word. Word is great for documents, but not for writing a novel.

Some popular software options are Scrivener and Ulysses. I mention these because I know them and use them and recommend them.

Scrivener is more popular and has a much richer feature list for the professional writer and has a one-off purchase price. Ulysses is very much a distraction-free option (still with some cool features) and has an annual cost similar to the value of the one-off price of Scrivener.

But this post isn’t about which writing software is best, today we are all about how to become more confident with the software you choose and technology in general.

 

Here are 3 ways can you become confident with technology as a 50+ year old newbie writer are:

  1. Accept you need to ‘learn’ again
    • If you are open to learning new software you will learn. It’s not always simple to learn a new skill, but if you want to you have passed the 1st challenge.
  2. Research which software you want to learn
    • The writing blogs have many posts about the best 10 writing apps and the best 5 tools you need as a writer. But really you want the best app for you and your writing style.
    • In the early days you may not know what that is, so what I recommend is that you read a variety of posts from different sources that offer reviews and advice on the best writing software.
    • You will start to favour one or two of them from the descriptions, video’s and images available.
    • Then check out the websites of the software and look for Free or Free trial versions. It’s way better not to spend your money on something you may regret quite quickly. So try it out and be sure you are happy to then get the paid version.
  3. Take time to actually learn the software
    • If you skip this step you may be in for a world of frustration and procrastination going down rabbit holes on YouTube of Facebook groups asking How-To questions
    • There are various ways to learn, so pick the way that suits your learning style and budget.
    • YouTube always has a wealth of video’s, but they may not be the best for your questions, and again it could become a rabbit hole of procrastination
    • I’d suggest looking for online courses you can do in your own time that is for specifically for the software you want to learn. You can find these on online course websites such as Udemy and Teachable and also by searching for the software online course in google you’ll find entrepreneurs who have created online course sites more focussed on writers, such as myself
    • It’s really up to you on how you prefer to learn, but learning will save you heaps of wasted time wondering how to do something, or not knowing some cool time-saving tips for that software. They all have them, so make sure you are aware and you will breath easier and there will be a lot less stress in your life.

The best action you can do for yourself is to get past the first step where you have chosen to LEARN and the rest will be much easier.

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