Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Nanowrimo + Book Cover

I may have mentioned before that I would do Nanowrimo this November. Well I did and within twelve days I wrote a 50k word novel, two days before my own set deadline. It's not that I write fast, I actually did write very slow. I went at an average pace of 600 wpm. What I did was write a lot each day I wrote like 83+ hours in 12 days. I did most of my writing early in the morning and in the evenings, averaging around 4k words a day.

Sure the first draft wasn't ready yet. I spend an additional 16 days and three more drafts in improving the novel, spending another 80+ hours. I spend the equivalent of a month working full time on this novel.This I did while also learning for my certification exam to become a Microsoft MCITP Enterprise Administrator (Exam scheduled for December 28th).

After 160+ hours in, the novel is ready for me to send to my copy editor for her to neat up on the spelling, grammar, awkward sentences, and much more. With some luck it will be finished by Christmas and available for the kindle.

Of course I needed a book cover, so I made one:

A professional artist might have done a better job, however with the picture I bought from shutterstock I think I made a real nice cover. Much props to the artist that made the stock photo.

Though opinions might differ about the awesomeness of the book cover, I would like to know yours.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Touch Typing

A long, long, long time ago, when I was barely a teenager. My father bought me and my brother our first Gateway PC. It came in a cow pattern box. It was a neat thing. My brother about two years older installed everything, He could read a manual very well. I don't do the read manual thing. Anyway in the package we got an Encarta Encyclopedia, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, and some other stuff I forgot about.

I wanted to learn to type. So I tried. I tried for a week and gave up. I developed my own style of typing with two fingers. It's similar style as those old people you see who never seen a typewriter or computer before, hunched over the keyboard, pecking at the keys, moving very slowly. Only I was not that slow, I managed to type at a 20 words a minute speed and burst of near 30wpm. Though my eyes were half the time on the keyboard which kept my speed limited.

Touch typing benefits us all. You can type without looking at the keyboard and with time as your proficiency increases so does your speed. I knew this and still I drudged with my slow pace typing, because it was sufficient for the occasional email, or report I had to type. Once I started writing I felt the drawback. I would write my stories longhand, because my typing was too slow to keep up with me, and held my storytelling back. Drawback of longhand is that my handwriting is not pretty, making it difficult to read and in typing it over.

It's only now at 34 that I decided to learn touch typing and become proficient doing so. I registered for the free online tutorial typingweb and did the courses for two months, each day typing about 2 hours, practicing till I managed to touch type. I can now type at 40wpm with bursts of up to 60wpm. I wished I've done this before, it saves a lot of time. I can now type at the speed with which I can keep up with my story telling, and I don't need to type my handwriting over ever again.

Added benefit is I can type my emails, reports, and instruction manuals much faster, so it also benefits me on my day job. I don't dread now when asked to document something, now I'm able to do it in half the time I normally would.

I intend in keep improving and up my speed to 70 wpm. I do recommend to anyone who doesn't touch type to teach themselves to do so. You'll benefit from it. Using will help you considerably to do so. The courses and practices are topnotch and it's free. The added benefit is you can certify your typing skill and use this when applying for a job.