30 things I’ve learnt in 2014

Boston me smallI started this review by looking back at the 30 things I’d learnt in 2013.  That year was a big learning curve, e-publishing my first books, developing and launching this site and much more.  So I was interested to see what had changed / what new things I’d learnt in 2014:

  1. Changing pc’s and windows is a complete pain. There is supposed to be a transfer program, but of course windows 8 will only do this from windows 7, so transferring mail and contacts etc. requires a laborious and detailed process.  Why????
  2. Self-marketing – build an e-mail, list everyone says so. I’ve seen it so often I’m convinced.  To that end I’m putting together a give-away that I hope people will find interesting/useful especially if you write/read science fiction.  It should be available early in the New Year.
  3. There are so many ‘how to’ books out there promising all sorts of results with your book marketing. Somehow I suspect they are the ones making the money
  4. There are also many sites offering to do the book marketing for you. Again, as above, I guess they are the ones making money.  Or is this post-Christmas cynicism?
  5. Short story competitions are all over the place and yes they are worth entering.  Just bear in mind that a lot of stars have to align for you to win.  It’s not just about how good/original the story is.
  6. In science fiction – being a psychopathic, homicidal maniac is not always a bad thing.
  7. Writing short stories are still worth it for all the reasons in my blog – What’s more when you have a collection of them you can publish them, that’s what I’m doing.
  8. Artificial Intelligence could mean then end of the human race, if you side with Stephen Hawking. If not it might just be the start of another adventure for mankind (my personal view).
  9. Keyboards are great crumb collectors. For some reason I’ve just turned mine up-side-down and shaken it, mistake.
  10. Some people say love makes the world go round, some say money. But apparently it’s due to the conservation of angular momentum as the cloud of dust that formed the solar system collapsed inwards after a shock wave from a nearby supernova.  I guess that’s more difficult to work into a song though.
  11. If we continue as we are as a species the Amazon rain forest will be no more in two hundred years. Are we going to let that happen?
  12. There are only 12 ‘Tuskers’ left in Kenya. They are being hunted out of existence for their ivory.  The world will be a diminished place when they are all gone.
  13. You can land a washing machine on a comet, although it takes 10 years and costs a lot of money.
  14. Video games exists in a time warp. You think you’ve been playing for half an hour, but the clock has moved on two hours.
  15. Guest blogging is a good way of reaching new people. It’s fun as well.  More of that in 2015
  16. ‘City Mapper’ is one of the most useful apps I’ve come across.
  17. In 50 years’ time they estimate 75% of people will live in cities. Given all the advances in communications I have to ask why?
  18. As a writer you can break ‘the rules’. But you have to know them first to understand when and why you can break them.
  19. Entering ‘free’ on-line competitions just increases your spam. And I don’t win.
  20. Twitter is still distracting.
  21. Twitter lists and using Hootesuite are two ways of trying to minimise that distraction.
  22. I have three pairs of glasses, but none when/where I really need them, whenever/wherever that is??
  23. You can have too much coffee, the conundrum, is how much is too much?
  24. me3Sadly the same goes for chocolate
  25. Professor Brian Cox’s voice sends me to sleep. I love his programs, but it does – is it just me?
  26. I was right to be pessimistic about England’s chances in the World Cup. Or maybe it’s the force of that mass pessimism that made them lose?
  27. Saying I can’t do something is an excuse not to try. Within reason of course, no amount of flapping my arms is going to make me fly.
  28. Writers are generous people, always willing to share their experience and knowledge. I’m trying to do the same.
  29. Despite how much I’ve learnt every year there are still so many new things that astound and delight me.
  30. Also despite all the stuff that fills our lives, it’s the simple things such as, friends, family, walking in the countryside, that bring the most joy.

So that’s thirty things I’ve learnt this year and I’m sure there are many more.  So I hope you’ve all had a good Christmas and here’s to a happy and successful (however you measure that) New Year.

Ian Martyn

Author: Ian Martyn

Science Fiction Writer

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