Reflecting on April (2017)… Resizing the past and formatting for the future…

BEHIND THE WRITING DESK_optIt’s been a couple of years since I have done any serious writing. That disappoints me so much. However, studies are over with and I have my life back. That study and work period reinforced that time is precious, and so I headed back into writing wanting to streamline what writing involves for me. That is cutting down the amount of writing related work that isn’t actually writing. April saw the website get a little spruce up, courtesy of my other half. ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’ is no longer a separate website, but a page on my author site, and soon I will stop using the social media accounts for this series and my self-help title ‘Get Over It’. That way I can just focus on one social media account as me, sharing whatever I find interesting, from writing, weirdness through to geek, to Victorian history and to self-help. Eclectic as I am. One of the last tasks before I get back down to writing was to reformat ‘Get Over It’… Formatting. What fun. I have learnt that images can be resized in a few ways, which, if you’re a novice self-publisher like me, you might find useful to know.

Resizing images within a manuscript can reduce the delivery costs through Kindle, and wring out some extra pennies of profit. Turns out this can be done in a couple of ways. Firstly they can be resized for free through the website–simply upload the image, check the resize capability and appearance and then download it as the resized image. Simple as that. Secondly, in Word, you can select the inserted resized image in the manuscript, then got to format, select ‘compress picture’ and then select ‘Web/Print’ and it will compress the image even further. I was surprised the image didn’t lose any noticeable quality. I may have been  a little over cautious on the actual view size of my images, but I went a little smaller than the Kindle screen size in the hope it would be optimal for phone reading.

Because I can’t specify the font for the Kindle version of my works, the examples within ‘Get Over It’, which used a handwriting style in my manuscript became a courier type written style in its Kindle transformation–which were ugly AF. I couldn’t think of how to change this when I first published, so had to live with it. But, I have now decided to go back to basics and have made these the regular font, but distinguished them as bold and italic instead, which isn’t what I want, but looks much better. Bullet points are still doing their own weird and wonderful things in places, but I am just going to have to live with them as they are. I’m scared to play around with the html tags to try and force the formatting to behave, because if Kindle changes it’s html tags or filters it could all be undone anyway.

Accepting imperfection leads me nicely onto the next and final task I wanted to do–getting this blog up and running again and more how I want it to be. I’m getting there. I’ve managed to post a gaming hobby post, started a series about mine and my partners switch to being vegan (‘Do Vegans Dream of Mycoprotein Sheep?’), and posted a review. Next up is a series of self-help posts about CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and self-esteem which will be titled ‘In Pursuit of Imperfection’, which I’m looking forward to writing. I recently bumped into one of my old clients from when I ran therapy groups. I was really taken aback when he thanked me  for my support, and told me how he had used the tools and materials I had given him to turn his life around. I know I did the work to help people, but I never really got to see the end result, and I guess I learned not to think about it, so to be presented with an actual change motivated through my support was nice. Politics of a social care department forced into an NHS model and cut backs thanks the Conservative government aside, I enjoyed working with people so much–helping people to help themselves–it’s made me want to do more with my counselling studies again, so blog posts on self-esteem will go some way towards that, I hope.

So, with the past revisited, tweaked, and my tasks downsized–and managing to spend time with my other half, family, and playing games (and celebrating my 40th birthday)–May is about blogging, and June looks like it will be writing again. Actual writing! Hopefully I will get the balance of work and play right this time around. I have already started reading up on Victorian history again, immersing myself in that evocative and fascinating era, readying myself to continue writing ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’. Can’t wait!

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