Challenging the Writing Process – With Scrivener

Theme for this month is Transitions. I can’t say my current transition comes as a surprise. It happens every summer and has been on my mind for the past several months—packing up the kids and leaving home (my office!) for two months to visit family. It’s a love/hate transition that both energizes my personal self and sets me back big-time.

It takes about two weeks to wind down from our hectic, over-scheduled, computerized lifestyle, and my writing always takes a backseat during this time. But one of the positive things about writing is that it can be done anywhere. Right? So I have to consider…

Location can’t really be my excuse, no matter how enticing the surroundings are. (Ever try writing in a movie theater when the movie is extremely entertaining? Wish me luck!)

Lack of internet can’t be a real obstacle, since I could technically put off any research until I get home. Besides, not much research happens when I’m surfing the web with that first cup of coffee at 5am—I’ll probably gain an hour right there! And I’m betting I can get more done in that one hour without internet than I can in four hours with internet.

The kids are getting older and this will be their 6th summer at the ranch—they probably don’t need as much supervising… though I really, really want to make sure they play smart. They have a lot of freedoms in the middle of nowhere, but it comes with cougars and bears and rattlesnakes in the canyons.

Anyway, back to the writing… since I’m never as productive in the summers as I ought to be, I’ve decided it’s the perfect time to explore the crafty ins and outs of Scrivener with a project that’s been simmering for a good six months now. Nothing too obsessive, just some fun experimenting to see if I like the program, and if it’s worth changing the way I currently organize my novels.

I kind of like the OCD-ness of Scrivener, and from their tutorial, it seems to break the writing into smaller chunks that won’t necessarily require intense concentration or long binge sessions (which is how I prefer to write). I’m curious if I can get Scrivener to track multiple plot lines and character development the way I hope it will. It should be interesting! And it’s not like I had high expectations of getting anything done in the first place. 🙂

So wish me luck (again)!  By the time this is posted, I’ll be 85% off the grid. I say it that way because it might take an hour or more to get a stable internet connection (if I can sit around that long), and anything with images is completely hit or miss. But on the positive side, maybe instead of coming home with lost writing habits, I’ll come home with better ones!!

Do you use Scrivener? Any helpful hints or features I should play/pay close attention to?

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10 thoughts on “Challenging the Writing Process – With Scrivener

  1. I am a scrivenite and have been for several years. I don;t use it to it’s full potential, but I certainly ave no hesitation in recommending it. It is a great tool for keeping all those bits and bobs in one place–research, character bios, bits from the net you clipped to evernote and want to keep. It’s a must have.

  2. I’m another one who keeps hearing about Scrivener but has yet to take the plunge. Somehow I never seen to have time for the learning curve. But it does sound interesting–I’m dying to hear what you think of it, Toni!

  3. Thanks everyone!! Should be a great time to learn the program. I think the organization would be helpful, as my last project spans many many years and multiple computers. 🙂 I tend to keep EVERYTHING, but I hardly know where to look if the file is more than a few years old.

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