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Audrey Caylin: Dear Word-Doc: What We Wish We Could Tell Our Office-Writers

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Dear Word-Doc: What We Wish We Could Tell Our Office-Writers

('Cause I've wanted to do one of these ever since I started blogging XD)

The holidays are nearing. Whether we're eagerly awaiting for relatives to arrive or writing letters to faraway ones, now is the time of year when family and friends are often on our mind. The end of the year is nearing, and even with Thanksgiving over, we still find time to thank them for all they've done in our lives and for just being here.

So I thought this would be the perfect time to give a shout-out to our best friends, our encouraging companions who are there through every writing project we do, whether we call ourselves a novelist or not.

Our Word-docs.

Whether you use LibreOffice or Microsoft-Office or something I can't name, almost all writers (unless you use Scrivener or something like that) spend hours every week using a program like this. They all have their issues, and now, after Nanowrimo, I thought it would be a good time to write our lovely Office-writers a letter.


Dear Word-Doc.... 

(Pictures from Pinterest. Yes, I know what a typewriter is XD)


I spelled that name right

You're typing along, and then you write a name, maybe your friend's name or a character's name.... and a red squiggly appears under it. You do a double-take. Yes, you think it's spelled right. You check one more time. Now you are CERTAIN it is spelled right. 

In fact, you've spelled this name exactly 245 times so far in your novel and our Word-doc still can't realize that you know what you are doing!?!? So what if your MC's name isn't on the top 100 baby names in America? So what if you used a different spelling? So what if you just made it up when you was little kid? YOU SPELLED IT RIGHT.

(This is my pet-peeve. I can't get over it. Those little red squiggles under my main character's gloriously beautiful or noble name.

Why don't I just hit 'add to dictionary?'

Because what if I spell a word like that that I actually want spell-checked?)

No. I. do. not. want. a. bullet. point.

You're writing along, and you hit Enter. Just the usual. Then, suddenly, out of nowhere, a big fat dot appears on your screen. You frantically hit undo and delete, but the formatting of your entire paragraph changes when you're done. You pound on the keyboard and demand why your Office-Writer didn't remind you to turn off auto-bullet points and Roman Numerals.

(Auto bullet points are the bane of me, especially when I'm writing an outline and I want need I. instead of an A.)

Please, no comma.   

You hit spellcheck, intending to get rid of that nasty way you spelled obstacle or whatever. Your spellcheck catches something you didn't though: a missing comma. It makes a big deal about it and even goes as far to say that you suck at Grammar in school. You consider disabling grammar-check.

(Like, you know when you have "where are you" and they want "where are, you"? And the grammar-check thinks you're the one who doesn't know how to write) 

I hit the SAVE button

 You've just spent a morning writing, and you click out of your document so you can back it up again before lunch. You remember that you have pizza left over from last night. Mmm.... You can already taste the cheese, and hurriedly exit your document....

Changes deleted.


( Part of the reason why I switched from LibreOffice to Microsoft Word so I could have a backup of the changes saved for awhile)


Finally. You have two whole free hours to write. Maybe you can finish that epic climax and maybe even your entire book. You eagerly click on your document. 

Nothing happens. 

You click again. And again. Double-clicking. Triple-clicking. Quadruple-clicking. AND THE DOCUMENT JUST WON'T OPEN.

By the time you restart your computer and fix the glitch, you've wasted an hour and you have a dozen emails you need to answer.

(Happens way to often to me XD)    

Excuse me? Where is my formatting? 

You open your document, rather proud of how you've kept all your chapters in order. That will make things easier when you finally format it for publishing, right?

As you scroll through to where you left off editing, you see a chapter header floating in nothingness in the middle of a page. You shut your eyes and ask yourself why you bothered to try when your Office-writer has a mind of its own.

(Extremely annoying to someone like me, who demands a perfectly clean and organized document)

Why can't you guess that word already?

You cringe. There's no way around it. You're going to have to spell that word you never can: obstacle. You take a deep breath and begin. At the end of your failed attempt, that red line comes back. You welcome it this time, and click the spellcheck with relief.

Obscure? Obscurity? Avocado?   

You realize you're on your own.

(Text. Email. Writing. So me.) 

(Pictures from Pinterest)



Your author.  



So here we are... Audrey, what happened to the blog makeover? 


Let me give you two little equations:

school & life > me & my time

me ≠ coder (yet)

 Basically, on Monday, I got news that I can take an important exam for school this month, before Christmas, rather than next month. Meaning I have less than two weeks to study. And I'd really prefer not to fail this exam :P

No, I didn't decide not to do the whole makeover thing and never start. I did start, but then some unexpected disasters happened with my theme and fixing a few things through coding went wrong.

So would I discourage anyone from doing a blog makeover themselves?

No. Absolutely not. You. can. do. it.

I just had something unexpected come up and had to put my priories in order (yes, school is over blogging. I know, right?) Here are some tips for if you ever do this though:

set aside a fair amount of time


accept help, even if that person doesn't know anything about coding

have backup themes in mind

take breaks (hint: this is when you eat)



Do not let my story scare you into not doing a blog makeover yourself if you've never done it before. If anything, it should teach you that it's okay to say it's too much sometimes. Keep your eyes open for more updates when I fully go through with my makeover though. Until then, check out my new pages!!!!!! (in which I finally have pictures of myself where I'm not wearing sunglasses and at a pizzeria)  ;)


- Audrey Caylin

Back on post topic, do you have any horror stories about your Office-Writer? What do you use to write on?   



At December 10, 2016 at 8:54 AM , Blogger Amy said...

Awesome post Audrey! I can so relate ;) I work on MW, and the worst thing for me are the red squiggles when I actually WANT the words to be the same as how I typed them. Urgh. SO annoying :)

At December 10, 2016 at 8:59 AM , Blogger Amy said...

Oh! Sorry, forgot to add this to my previous comment:
Ah I'm sorry for the failed makeover! Hope your studying goes well and you get to do more blogging soon. Designing can be so fun, but such hard work :( Totally understand, shame! <3
Have a lovely weekend :)

At December 10, 2016 at 10:23 AM , Blogger Marrok Macintyre said...

Fun post! Sorry your makeover didn't happen this time but I bet once you finish it, it will look great!
I use Word not Office-Writer, but once a paper for School was lost and I had to redo it (that wasn't very fun)
I pray you exam goes well!

At December 10, 2016 at 1:08 PM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

Thanks, Amy! It was fun to write :)

I know. I've learned SO much about design and posting and coding in the past few months. I'm excited to do the makeover when I have time though!

Enjoy your weekend too!

At December 10, 2016 at 1:09 PM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

I know the feeling... :P Backup drives and hitting the save button every few seconds have been my best weapon XD

Thank you!

At December 10, 2016 at 2:36 PM , Blogger Micaiah Saldaña said...

This was a fun post, and I totally know how it feels when those red squiggly lines appear. MY NAME IS SPELLED CORRECTLY. =) I use Word, and it can sometimes be stressful, but I like it overall.

At December 10, 2016 at 4:06 PM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

Thank you, Micaiah!

I have the same problem with my middle name! (and also that problem when people ask me a dozen times how to spell it ;) )

At December 10, 2016 at 4:10 PM , Blogger Liv K. Fisher said...

Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes to all of this. THIS IS SO TRUE.

At December 13, 2016 at 8:31 PM , Blogger Micaiah Saldaña said...

Haha, it's good to know I'm not alone. =)

Okay, this is a random question that has nothing to do with anything, but how do you get your pictures not to show up with a little border when you post on Blogger? I cannot figure it out, I've even tried turning off the Lightbox thingy. I am hopeless with technology. *can't help but laugh at self*

At December 14, 2016 at 10:02 AM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

Thanks, Olivia! XD

At December 14, 2016 at 10:12 AM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

Do you mean making the pictures fit the screen, or...? I just make them extra large and my theme does the rest on my homepage. As for captions, no border shows up when I put in the Pinterest notice.

I hope this helps but feel free to ask more questions if I just answered the wrong thing :P I'd love to help! :)

At December 14, 2016 at 4:25 PM , Blogger Micaiah Saldaña said...

Ah, it must have something to do with my theme. Or something. Okay, that's good to know! Thanks for helping. =)

At December 16, 2016 at 8:02 PM , Blogger Vanessa said...

OH I LOVE THIS POST! It's so light and funny yet strait to the point! Word can really be a pain. Sometimes I wish it could guess the words more correctly or ever predict what I want to say but can not get the thoughts into words. It has some ways to go.

At December 16, 2016 at 8:07 PM , Blogger Audrey Caylin said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH! It was a blast to write XD

I know, right? Can't they make one that reads our minds...? ;-)


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