I used to love technology.
Not many people know this but the first money I ever earned was from a magazine publishing a computer program that I wrote when I was 14. I think I earned the princely sum of 12 quid. And 12 quid was quite a lot back in those days. My pocket money at the time was only 2 quid a week!
My job at the BBC was quite techy – I did a lot of camera work myself and even a bit of editing. And then when I left, I went onto teach music technology in the school.
But although I’ve always considered myself a bit of a techie person, as I get older, I’m finding it harder and harder to get to grips with new technology. A new mobile or a new app can have leave baffled and frustrated.
Becoming an author has meant learning a lot of new stuff. I didn’t know about tracking changes in a Word document. Essential when returning corrected manuscripts back to my editor. I didn’t know how to add captions to an Instagram reel. I had endless trouble setting up my relatively simple WordPress website and trying to set up my mailing list initially had me completely stumped.
And how have I overcome all these problems?
I’ve often used YouTube in the past when I didn’t know how to do something. For example, when we first got our caravan and didn’t know how everything worked. There are some great ‘how to’ writing videos on there too. I particularly like this one: Refuse to Be Done: A Digital Writing Workshop with Matt Bell.
There are thousands of useful YouTube videos out there for writers, whether designing your website, setting up your mailing list, making a reel to market your book or looking for a creative way to do your cover reveal. Here are a few you might find useful:
Although this isn’t YouTube, I also wanted to mention the incredibly useful website of author, Charlotte Duckworth. As well as writing books, she designs websites for authors, but she also has a lot of very useful free resources on her site, and she’ll be launching a course soon about building your own website. Sign up to her mailing list to find out more.
And finally, if you’d like to see the sorts of things I used to make before I became an author, here’s one of my YouTube videos: an interview I directed with the amazing writer, Maya Angelou.