Tech Tips for Writers is an (almost) weekly post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future Tip.
Q: I’m writing a very (very) important paper and all of a sudden, the screen is frozen. I can’t save it, or anything else. What do I do?
A: Programs do freeze for no reason sometimes, but not often (I’m assuming you take care of your computer–defrag, don’t download with abandon, update it occasionally). Before you declare a dog-ate-my-homework sort of catastrophe, try this:
- Check your desktop for an open dialogue box and close it. You might have to answer its question first.
- Push escape four times. You might have inadvertently got yourself into something you don’t even know you’re in. Escape often lives up to its name.
- Click your program on the taskbar. You might have gotten out of it by accident.
90% of the time, your computer is back to normal. If you’re one of the ten percenters, I hope you saved early and often (every ten minutes).
Questions you want answered? Leave a comment here and I’ll answer it within the next thirty days.
Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, an Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, an IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s seeking representation for a techno-thriller she just finished. Any ideas? Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab.