Saturday, 27 February 2016

Writing - Ch ch ch ch Changes

One of the certainties in life, other than death and taxes, is the fact that we need to accept change. Over the last twelve months or so I have been whingeing about the failings of my old laptop on which I write. Well last Tuesday I bit the bullet.

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HP Pavilion 15

I don't mention this acquisition to brag, when all said and done it is a fairly standard machine, but to illustrate the changes necessary to progress.
David Bowie's Changes would make a good theme tune for this blog.

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(Turn and face the strange)
Oh, look out you rock 'n rollers
(Turn and face the strange)

The chorus just about sums up the correct attitude to change as difficult as that can be.

With a new computer, superseding a machine about 4 years old, there are changes that you just have to expect. One of those is the demise of my Outlook licence which is more difficult to replace than simply checking emails on my provider's website. Seems like such a little thing but I was used to Outlook.
Another difference is the fact that all the keys work! I had adapted to the slight stickiness of the 'x', 'j' and Caps Lock keys by punching them harder. I need to stop now as they all work perfectly!

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When I was younger I used the word can't as all children tend to but my father admonished me with 'there's no such word as can't'. If I had as many fivers as I've heard folk say that they can't change I'd be a rich man. In fact you can change. You may feel uncomfortable but it can be done.

In fact I would go as far as to say that the human animal is actually quite good at change. It is true that when change is thrust upon us we make an incredible fuss but eventually we adapt and move on -  well most of us do.

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Climate change

One of the major changes we are regularly informed of is climate change. In fact, and I use the word 'fact' advisedly, human activity on the Earth is not responsible for all of the climate change that is occurring. The amount varies but as I understand it only 50% of the increase in global temperature is due to us, the rest is a result of the natural cycle of the Earth.

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Ice Age

The Earth's orbit is such that it oscillates between hot and cold cycles. The last Ice Age, known as the 'little ice age', ended in the 1880s. It is often assumed that it was thousands of years ago and rather than ended it petered out. If you remember your history of Victorian times the Thames often used to freeze over - a sign perhaps. Of course the media and the powers-that-be latch on to factual fragments and focus the public's attention if it suits them.
The bottom line is that if we'd never been such rabid carbon burners there would still have been a degree of global warming.

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Of course as a writer the change in publishing methods is a change that I have had to go with. When I produced my first book seven years ago I wanted a literary agent and a publishing deal. I would be a liar if I didn't admit to that. Ten books and two collections of poetry later and I'm not that concerned. You can buy my books either for ereaders or as a physical copy, the only difference being the marketing.

This last change has been an evolutionary one and the majority of writers that I have dealings with have adapted to the change. It is quite a revolution in many respects and the traditional publishing houses have had to change also, so no one is immune to change. If it affects you, irrespective of subject, accept it or walk away.

God Bless