Pull up a log by the campfire and enjoy some original creations by Stuart J. Whitmore, including photos, fiction, software, technical solutions, video, and more.

7 IFTTT Applets for the Indie Writer

I am a big believer in making technology work for you automatically. In this blog post I am going to share a few ideas for indie writers to get some easy automation working via IFTTT. Their service allows you to connect the dots between online services, so an event in one service triggers an action in another. If you look on the web for examples of how to use IFTTT, you will run into a lot of examples that seem fun but are not particularly productive. I'm more results oriented, so the examples I show here are intended to help you with your indie publishing rather than merely amuse you. If you are a business-minded author, you know you have to be productive, and hopefully these suggestions will help you with that.

These examples are easy and simple (no tech experience needed) while still being useful. If you are technically inclined, you can do much, much more using IFTTT services such as openHAB, Maker Webhooks, and others intended for developers and "makers." To get started, though, take a look at these solutions as a way to get started. You can always add more later.

Health, Fitness, and Productive Writing

I have mentioned, in varying levels of detail, that this year holds some unusual challenges for me and that my life will be fairly chaotic in the coming months. What I did not predict, however, is that I would have my attention pulled away so significantly by health concerns. I did not particularly need a reminder that health and fitness are important, but events in the past few weeks have certainly served to underscore that. Luckily, and I can be truly thankful for this, nothing has been particularly serious. The incidents that have cropped up in the past month have been just disruptive enough to make me more wary of larger problems, as well as the need to proactively take better care of myself. I am sharing this on my blog not to simply talk about myself, though. I am mentioning it here to encourage other writers (and everyone, really) to also take a moment to consider what they are doing to stay healthy and fit.

Reasons to Celebrate

There are quite a few things that I could write about this week for my writing blog. I'm sure that if I tried hard enough, I could somehow work in a political message following the inauguration of President Trump, but I will leave that for others. I am somewhat tempted to address the issue of writing for the purpose of entertaining a large audience versus writing for literary art, but at least for now I will leave that for others also. For this blog post, I will focus on two recent milestones that I celebrated this past week.

One reason to celebrate was that I finished another novel first draft. This was the novel that I began in November for NaNoWriMo, and although I had hoped to finish it earlier, finishing it in about two-and-a-half months is substantially faster than spending years on manuscripts, which I've also done. My "worst" writing time has yet to be determined, because I started a novel in January 1985 and I have not yet finished it. I treat that as sort of a joke, although I do have plans to finish it eventually. This week, though, I was just glad to get to the end of the first draft of this much more recent project.

Yep, It's New Year's Eve

Would it be trite to use my last blog post of the year to do a year-end summary, or to talk about my goals for the coming year? Perhaps, but I'm going to do it anyway. :-) I will talk about my goals for 2017 first, because that is the easiest: There are none! With as many changes and disruptions as I can expect in my personal life in the next six to eight months, any goals would likely need to be set aside anyway. I do intend to keep writing and publishing, but that is more about my general intent than actual goal-setting.

I Am Thankful For Other Writers

It's Thanksgiving here in the United States, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank other writers who have helped me over the years and especially in the past year. While none of them can perform magic to make my older writing projects perform better in the marketplace, in various ways they have helped me press on with new projects that I hope will reach much larger audiences. Some, like Emily, have known me for many years, while others, such as Lynn, are more recent acquaintances. The help I have received from other writers has ranged from moral support to technical information to market understanding, and I am thankful to them all for giving me the confidence to continue writing with the hope of achieving commercial success as well as artistic expression.

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