The Writer's Technology Companion

Tools, Tips, and Technology for Productive Writers

5 Minutes Bookkeeping a Day Keeps the IRS Away

Entries for August, 2008

Create or Join a Writing Group Using Meetup

Though writing itself is generally a pretty solitary endeavor, writers can benefit greatly from meeting with and talking to other writers, whether for writing critique, business advice, or just plain emotional support. But how do you find other writers? There’s no “Yellow Pages” entry for “struggling poets” or “beginning screenwriters”, there’s no industry directory, and […]

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Word Passive Voice Highlighting Revisited: Now for Word 2003

Last week, I explained how to highlight uses of the passive voice in your writing, using Word 2007. Here’s how to do the same thing in Word 2003 and earlier versions. To reiterate: the passive voice is when you explain what’s happening in such a way that the action happens to the subject rather than […]

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Stay Motivated with Stikk

One piece of advice that’s floated around a lot to help people stay on track with their big projects is to set a deadline. In my experience, and probably yours, this doesn’t work very well because there are no consequences for not meeting your “pretend” deadline  —  allowing you the fudge room to keep procrastinating. Stikk has […]

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Word 2007 for Writers: Part 5 — Proofreading and Editing Tricks

I tend to prefer old-fashioned pen and paper for going over my drafts and marking revisions and edits. The screen has never struck me as a good medium for reading longer works on, and I think differently with a pen in hand than with a keyboard under my fingers. That said, Word 2007 puts a […]

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Word 2007 for Writers: Part 4 — Fun with Sections

Chances are, you’ve learned how to insert page breaks into Word documents (Insert > Page Break, just in case). This is useful for, say, adding a “Works Cited” page at the end of a document. But you might have seen another kind of “break” while moving through Word’s menus. They’re in a different place for […]

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Word 2007 for Writers: Part 3 — Master Documents and Outlines

A book can be an unwieldy thing to write, especially on older (read: slower) hardware, and even more especially if you have illustrations, charts, and other graphic material in your file. As the document gets bigger, it gets slower and slower to open the document, to find your place, and to scroll back and forth […]

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Word 2007 for Writers: Part 2 — Using Styles

Styles are an incredibly useful feature in Word  —  which have unfortunately been rather hidden in previous versions. Word 2007 puts styles right on the main toolbar, so there’s no excuse not to use them. Using styles allows you to maintain a uniform set of formatting decisions across your document. Instead of formatting individual text selections independently, you […]

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Word 2007 for Writers: Part 1 — Introduction

No tool is as central to the modern writer’s toolkit as Microsoft’s Word. It is the word processor of choice for most writers  —  and of necessity for most of the rest. Even when we escape Word itself, we are forced by publisher’s specifications to save our final output in Word’s .doc format. And, to be honest, […]

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Sell Books — Yours or Others’ — with e-Junkie

Selling stuff is supposed to be easy on the Internet. Just put it “up there” and watch the orders roll in, right? If you stick with Amazon or eBay as your marketplace, it’s not all that hard  —  but they take a pretty sizable cut! Or you can set up your own shopping cart system and maintain […]

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