I think we’re just about done with the topic of real life writing for now. It’s a topic that I’m sure I’ll explore again, but for now I feel like I’ve said everything I have to say.
Before we go, though, I want to talk about computers for a minute. Awhile ago I posted a list of the best aps for your smart phone or other device that will help you be a better writer. At the time, I promised that I would talk about computer programs for writers as well.
As promised, here is that list now. Some of these you might have heard of, and some you might not have. I tend to use only programs I don’t have to pay a lot for, so none of these should be breaking your budget.
I was less than thrilled when my latest computer didn’t come with Microsoft Word. Maybe this is just me, but I was spoiled. I’d never gotten a computer without it before.
Fortunately, I’d been using Open Office for years anyway. It’s free to download, and you can convert the documents to any other form. This is awesome if an editor or agent needs your work to be in some strange form. It has all the same lovely fonts and useful tools as most word programs, and is very easy to use. It also has spreadsheets, which I’m sure you all know I can’t get by without.
A lot of you might already know from my behind the scenes look at my e-book creation that this is the ap I used to do it. It is easy to use, took me about three seconds to learn it. It’s great for adding graphics, too, if you’re the artistic type that needs a lot of graphics and artwork in your book.
(Full disclosure, I intend to use Calibre Ebook next time. The only problem I had with Book Creator was that I had to fit the words directly onto the page, I couldn’t just import my work and have it lay it out for me. I’ll let you know how Calibre works after I’ve experimented with it.)
Cortana or google ask
When I got my new computer it didn’t have Word, but it did have Cortana. I cannot tell you how valuable this has been to me. Instead of searching google for things like Middle Eastern names, what sort of dogs are most common in Russia, or what sort of breakfast people eat in Italy, I just ask Cortana. I can also use it to open documents just by asking and setting alarms the same way. I love it.
Please tell me that you already have an anti virus, and a firewall. Let me be clear with you, if you don’t then you might as well be standing on a corner of the street, screaming your bank account numbers, home address and social security number for all to see. You are also leaving yourself as open to viruses as a gaping foot wound while walking in a dog park.
I use Avira, and I love it. It doesn’t take up much room, it’s easy to run a scan whenever I like, and it has random jokes. (Luke Firewalker. Love it. )
If you have looked at a single image on this website, then you know what Canva has done for me. I use it to create all of my images, including both of my book covers so far, and it is so easy to use. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
If I didn’t mention your favorite computer program for writers, it’s because I don’t know about it. Please share with us below.