Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Nano and the geek

in my sphere of existence, it would almost seem like the whole world has gone Nano mad. and if the Nano i am referring to was nano technology, then it would make sense for this entry to appear on my tech blog.

but it is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing MOnth), which happens every year november. the idea behind it is to write a 50000 word novel in a month. to the casual observer or lighthearted blogger, this may not seem all that difficult. the average blog entry (not mine, but for, you know, proper bloggers) is probably around 800 words. an A4 page in Word can hold around 450 words. 50000 words is peanuts, right?

except, it is 50 blog substancial blog entries, or 180 A4 pages. to write 50000 words in a month, one has to write in the region of 1600 words on a daily basis, which is 2 substancial blog entries.

 

but, you have to do this in addition to the stuff you normally do.

 

why is this entry in a tech blog then?

 

well, firstly, because this geek decided to sign up for NaNo this year. and, secondly, because my tool of choice for NaNo is Word, and it has been about a year since i have last written about Word, and office in general. The last time I wrote about Office, the 2007 edition was still in beta. The final release has been out for most of this year, and I know it is being adopted, both by businesses and home users, rather rapidly. It is still my favourite version of Office ever, and, if possible, I would like to have Word's babies.

 

Word 2007 is my new best crush. I know some of the users have struggled getting used to the new interface, but, for the first time, Word makes sense to me. Finding the dictionary and thesaurus (very important for writing) is suddenly a breeze, and formatting on the fly no longer requires arcane knowledge and summoning demons. Templates have also been improved to allow a complete novice to create professional (or fun) documents within seconds, without having to hire a graphic designer.

I am a bit of a finicky user, and struggle to use an application completely if I find it unfriendly. I loved writing in WordPerfect (oh so many years ago), and it seemed to aid my creativity greatly, just by being friendly. I haven't had the same experience with Word, until now. Suddenly, I am a cornucopia of words, the story streaming from me like a comet's tail - and, even if Word cannot help me be a better writer, it is friendly enough to allow me to get my story out.

Now, if Word can just learn to dispense chocolate at the right time, we might just get married.

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