Friday, 24 June 2011

On Being a Technophobe

Writing and promoting my book has taught me many new skills but also some valuable lessons.
The main one being, never ask husband or son how to show me a new procedure on the computer because it will always result in speedy, cartoon style fingers flying across the keyboard accompanied by, "You just do this, this and this!"  Do I ever actually learn anything when they do this?  My bum, do I!  But you can bet your bottom euro that the next time I ask they'll say, "Uuugh, I showed you how to do that yesterday!"
NO, you didn't show me how to do it.  Not with love and patience.  You did it for me and think that's enough.  You know how to do it so you instantly expect that everyone else does.'
I often say to my son, "PLEASE, promise me you'll never become a teacher. You can't expect everyone to be as quick as you and every time you teach something you have to do it as if it's the first time" He's usually switched off by this point and gone to kill more zombies.
He's terrifying to watch on a computer.  How his brain can even keep up with his hands, I have no idea.  Same on the Playstation - he skips through menus and selects options before even one word on the screen has registered in my brain. He's now at the point where he's overtaken my husband (in my eyes a computer genius) and sorts things out for him.  Formatting my book for Kindle caused many nights of  *&%!~*!  words to come from hubbie's mouth. In stepped our son and they sorted it together.  Many *&%!~*! words then followed, on the quiet to me, about the cleverness of *&%!~*! son!
Aside from the trials of using a computer there are all the dramas that go with promoting a book online. I am now a Twitterer (or I twat people, past tense, as my mother calls it! "How many people have you twatted today?") What a peculiar concept, it is!  I know I have to do it because it's one of the best ways of networking and making writing friends but I find the whole thing very odd.  You're only allowed to "twat" people with 140 characters - I'm sorry but I like words and I like to talk and write.  140 characters is not enough.  I know I'm meant to be precise and to the point but anyone who's read this blog, knows I can't.  There's nothing like a good rant!
Then there's the peculiar "twats" you get back days later and you have no recollection of twatting them in the first place.  There's no thread, rhyme or reason.  "Sounds lovely," I got back today.  What does?  The weather?  Dinner at my place?  Beethoven's 5th?
Yes, Twitter and I are strange bedfellows but I know I've sold books through it so I'll plod on.
Forums is the next one.  Don't even get me started on those.  Suffice it to say that you post a relevant question or point and within seconds you're buried beneath all the others.  I feel like I have to dig deeper and deeper into irrelevance to get back to where I started in the first place.
Passwords?  So many for different things.  It feels like "Tonight Matthew, I'm going to be ..."  The day I get every  password right for every action, I swear I'm going to strip naked and dance down the high street singing with a rose between my teeth.  I now actually expect a message to come up on the screen when I get it wrong for the umpteenth time saying, "Oh-oh.  It's that Amanda again, the clueless one. Just let her in, for goodness sake."
And now today, I'm in trouble for posting a "like" on my husband's Facebook instead of my "Mummy Misfit" page. Slightly embarrassing for him as it was for "In my Handbag".  Oops!  May I take this opportunity to say he is all man and a true blooded Aussie through and through.
So me, my laptop and my journey into book promoting through the ether continue.  Keep looking out for that naked mad woman in the high street and you'll know I'm making in-roads.

My novel Diary of a Mummy Misfit is available on Amazon for Kindle. 
Now also in paperback at Lulu.

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