They say the devil is in the details…what exactly does that mean?
Well, according to Wikipedia, the short version is that “something might seem simple at first, but will take more time and effort to complete than expected.”
This is how I felt going into my Microsoft Word class yesterday. Here I was taking an intermediate class, provided free of charge by my local library, and I actually understood and followed along pretty well. This is because I had already figured out what I previously knew by trial and error, playing around with Word while crafting different pieces of writing. I thought it was pretty simple, but I knew there was more things it could do, I needed to find out what.
Digging deeper however, I discovered so many more wonderful things Word can do than what I had learned on my own. In addition, she provided lots of resources at the end of class for further discovery and study. Class ran over and she did not get to show us about inserting pictures, yet sent us home with a few cheat sheets to help us remember what she went over in class.
We learned about:
- Styles and how to modify them
- Line and paragraph spacing
- Indentation and columns
- Tabs and tab stops
- Margins and breaks
- Lists including multilevel lists
- Headers and footers
- Pictures…she didn’t get to that one
I had never played with headers and footers, I had no idea about how to modify styles, I picked up so many tips on formatting-all of these things will help on so many levels of my writing…yet there is so much more to learn. I’ve said before, I think I’m addicted to the learning part, so it won’t be a surprise when I tell you I signed up for another class! I need the basics, from a simple computer class all the way up to basic Word. Details are very important…I can’t function as a writer if I don’t learn everything I can about design, format, simple computer commands and more. Besides, to take the basic Word class, it was a requirement that you at least what all your keyboard can do…well, I don’t.
When I started writing, I kinda just took the bull by the horns and went for it, diving in and trying to figure out everything on my own. Had I done things right from the beginning, I would be so much farther ahead in my career than I am right now. I can’t even properly format a short story, which might be part of the reason for all my rejections. Editors want polished work, free of grammatical errors, properly formatted and looking professional. I’ve just been slapping a title on, writing my piece and sending a cover letter (probably wrong) and submitting-hoping for the best. It’s a miracle I’ve been published anywhere!
I need to find the mysterious element that’s hidden in all the details, do a more thorough job with my writing. It’s important.