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Firstly, the good news. My laptop and memory sticks have been cured. I don't have to buy a new laptop or re-type my WIP. I can't tell you how relieved I am. It took the computer shop some time to find the virus, which kept moving and hiding within my Word documents, and they almost made it sound like it had a life of its own. They got it in the end, though.
Secondly, an apology. I need to apologise for not having visited any of your wonderful blogs in the last few days or replying to emails. I had a horrendous migraine Wednesday. Although I felt better Thursday, I didn't dare spend any time at the computer. Even my Write 1 Sub 1 mission got forgotten about this week. I shall be catching up with my blog reading on Sunday.
Now to Friday Five, which today has the theme of Five Things I learnt This Week.
1. Use every available option to back up your work. Memory sticks are not enough and can in fact spread viruses around with ease. Do use recordable discs, external hard drives, and email to keep your work safe.
2. Don't buy ink cartridges from a high street store - they cost too much. Shop around online and use places like eBay to save money.
3. Canned laughter doesn't work. I watched the pilot of William Shatner's new sitcom, S**t My Dad Says, and it was awful. I'll correct that, it was funny. But the funny moments were ruined by canned laughter; it seemed the producers thought canned laughter with every line of dialogue worked. It didn't.
4. You can make a living from self-publishing but only if you do it right. I had an interesting chat with Tony Benson this week about the pros and cons of self-publishing, after he told me about a writer who is earning four-figure sums every month from self-publishing. But going down that route is not the easy option. Your writing must excel. You will need the services of a good editor. You will need the right cover. You will need to promote yourself. And all of those things cost money. But if four-figure sums are achievable then the outlay may just be worth it.
5. I couldn't be without blog scheduler. The only reason my Tuesday and Wednesday blog posts were published this week was because I pre-wrote and scheduled them.
So what things have you learnt this week?