Monday
Aug122013

The File Synchronization Blues: DropBox to the Rescue!

Posted by Navdeep Singh Dhillon

You initially bought an iPad to read e-books, watch movies, and generally keep yourself entertained while traveling. Then you got a stylus or a keyboard and dorked out. You never thought you would use your smartphone for anything writing related, but have discovered the awesomeness of writing apps like Pages, a Novel Idea, and Notes to jot down outlines or ideas of what you'll be writing about.

You write primarily on your laptop or desktop, using a simple wordprocessor, or a specialized writing app like Scrivener or Final Draft. Now, instead of spending your time thinking about plot, character development, and the dramatic lines of dialogue your character will utter, you’re spending your writing session on technical things. You’re constantly emailing yourself files from one device to another, and more than once, accidentally updated a file, only to realize you just replaced a newer file with an older one!

So what’s the solution for these technical writing blues? Hands down, a service called Drop-Box, which we have nothing but great things to say about. As much as we like iCloud for keeping our calendars and mail synchronized between our apple devices, we can’t share anything, and it is annoying to use on anything not a mac. We’ve tried a host of other services and the only other one we liked in theory, was Google Cloud, but the whole personalized ads based on what is meant to be private content left us feeling a bit uncomfortable. Drop-Box is the Mac Daddy of the file synchronization products. The best part about drop-box is it comes with 2GB completely free, and you can get extra space by doing pretty simple tasks that I’ll detail below. This amount of space is more than enough for the purposes of a writer and you can add a good amount of e-books and a limited amount of photos and videos if you’re traveling. Without bogging down this post with screenshots and bullet points, here’s a video that tells you exactly how their service works:

1) After you sign up for your free account using our referral link: http://db.tt/pOWVp9Yd, you will have an additional 500MB. So your initial space will be 2.5gigs, rather than a flat 2 gigs.

2) To earn almost 1 gig of extra space (on top of the initial storage) for doing simple tasks like going through their tutorial, connecting with them on FB and twitter, visit https://www.dropbox.com/gs

Now that this whole tech thing is taken care of, how many words are you writing today? 

The New York Institute of Career Development offers two great home-study courses, one blogging course and one writing course. Learn more about our courses and get your Free Course Catalog on our website.

Monday
Aug052013

Helvetica Font Is Now A . . . Movie Star? 

Posted by Navdeep Singh Dhillon

The most fantastic documentary ever. Hands down. It’s a documentary on Helvetica Font! It's a font I know quite well, since it's the prettiest one, and it's the one they use in the subway stations in New York City, where I live. Who knew a documentary on a font could be so entertaining? Here’s the trailer:

 

The New York Institute of Career Development offers two great home-study courses, one blogging course and one writing course. Learn more about our courses and get your Free Course Catalog on our website.

Monday
Jul292013

How to Build a Book 

Posted by Navdeep Singh Dhillon

Technology has certainly made our lives easier. We can purchase and download books straight to our e-readers and even the library has many great books that can be downloaded for free. But to me, the real beauty of a book is not just in the words, but in the experience of opening a book, and that book smell. One aspect that I have taken for granted is the art of book-binding, which in all likelihood may become more forgotten.

The above video, Birth of a Book from Glen Milner on Vimeo, is a short film of a book being assembled. It makes it look like a very simple process, but a lot of care goes into it, and very careful labor through scrubbing, pressing, and gluing book after book is no joke. I can't even use Elmer's Wood Glue properly!

So the next time you go to a bookstore (and always try to go to an independent one, if you can), make sure you take a proper look at the book so you can appreciate the effort that went into it.    

The New York Institute of Career Development offers two great home-study courses, one blogging course and one writing course. Learn more about our courses and get your Free Course Catalog on our website.

Monday
Jul222013

Five Twitter Hashtags For Writers

Posted by Navdeep Singh Dhillon

Many writers I know understand the basics of using twitter and compose tweets, but the one thing that eludes them is the use of hashtags, which look like this: #

Twitter is the easiest of all the social media to use, and the use of hashtags is a lot of fun once you get the hang of it. Here is a list of five hashtags that writers can use on twitter to let people know what you're up to, and also to widen your social circle. Often, people will look up particular hashtags and may connect with you through an interesting tweet you've composed. 

FIVE HASHTAGS FOR WRITERS 

  • #amwriting: if you're in the middle of writing something, use it.   
  • #amediting: editing your piece is sometimes much harder than the actual writing! 
  • #askagent: this is a wonderful way to pose questions about the publishing and agent process, where agents will answer questions they find using this hashtag.
  • #fictionfriday: this is a fun hashtag, which is essentially just to write anything fiction related on a friday.
  •  #chapterchallenge: to show you how versatile twitter is, I've included a hashtag I just made up to get people to join me on twitter in writing chapters of their novel.

Here's a link to a more detailed account of how to join the Chapter Challenge on twitter:http://ow.ly/ms3UZ

 

The New York Institute of Career Development offers two great home-study courses, one blogging course and one writing course. Learn more about our courses and get your Free Course Catalog on our website.

Wednesday
Jul102013

Blog and a Book Deal: Introducing, "Love With A Chance of Drowning," by Torre DeRoche

Posted by Navdeep Singh Dhillon

Torre DeRoche recently sold her very well written memoir called, "Love with a Chance of Drowning" to major publishers and also the movie rights. It's a brilliantly titled book, with an engaging premise:

She meets Ivan, a handsome Argentinean man with a humble sailboat and a dream to set off exploring the world, Torre has to face a hard decision: watch the man she’s in love with sail away forever, or head off on the watery journey with him. Suddenly the choice seems simple. She gives up her sophisticated city life, faces her fear of water (and tendency towards seasickness) and joins her lover on a year-long voyage across the Pacific.

Initially, I was going to post this under the category of "Fiction," but then I took a look at her blog and was floored at how brilliantly she used it to market her book and herself. So it fits very squarely with both forms of writing. 

Her blog does away with the conventional "rules" of writing blog posts, such as to post often, and short posts. She does neither. But what she does is put in a tremendous amount of effort into each blog post and strategically makes it fit with the theme of her book. It's an elegently designed blog and the reader knows exactly where to go for content. No matter what kind of a writer you are, I would strongly suggest taking a look at her site and picking up a copy of her book: http://www.fearfuladventurer.com/book

Posted by Navdeep Singh Dhillon
Follow Me on Twitter @navdeep_dhillon
Visit me at www.NavdeepSinghDhillon.com or www.IshqInABackpack.com