What are we meant to be doing?

Scrivener - a lifeline for writers
Scrivener – a lifeline for writers

I purchased and downloaded Scrivener the other day. It’s been a long wait, so let me tell you about it.

To me Scrivener wasn’t an indulgence—it was a necessity. As a writer, I have some fairly complex projects, some of them running at the same time, albeit at different stages of development. I’d heard of Scrivener and its write-minded ability to provide an excellent platform for organising writing projects years ago, and seethed. It had been developed for Macs, and I’m not a Mac owner.

The company, Literature and Latte (don’t you love that name?), recently released Scrivener for Windows and I was in. I haven’t been so excited for years and, despite their promised two hour in-depth tutorial dragging on for over four hours, the program went well beyond my expectations. And all for $40.

The Literature and Latte website has an active forum which I dropped in on recently. I can’t remember why. Alright put it this way, I’m not ‘fessin’ up to wasting a teeny weensy bit of time sniffing around their site for fun. You have to remember how excited I was to have the program.

In my travels there, I came across a post from a writer who was bemoaning the fact that the Windows version of Scrivener failed to have a very, very minor function that the Mac one had. A technician answered the post, explaining that it was something to do with Mac’s OS having an inherent feature that Windows OS did not possess, and that was that. Or so you’d like to believe.

Well, the discussion about this deficiency went on for weeks until one comment stopped the whole ridiculous performance dead in its tracks. ‘Surely,’ the writer said, ‘the purpose of this program is to assist in organising and tracking various complex aspects of the book writing process—something, by the way, we’ve never had before. By endlessly discussing the omission of an almost insignificant detail, aren’t we getting away from our core objective—to write?’

When was the last time you were bogged down in chasing minor and irrelevant details instead of getting on with writing?

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9 Responses

  1. Glad you are finally a Scriviner, Michael. I’m sure you’ll be as delighted with it as I am with mine. And I now run the Linux version (in beta) as well as the Mac version and they integrate nicely.

    1. Yes, it’s great to have everything concerning a project at hand—research, draft copies, ideas, notes—even the trash section has come in handy 🙂

  2. That software looks awesome for writers. I can absolutely appreciate your excitement Michael! Do you think it would be also useful for Bloggers? I know Blogs are short but it might give one a drawing board for blogging ideas? Just thinking???

    1. I think it’s a great tool for anyone who puts their fingers to the board. There are a number of templates that can be customised, or you can design your own work space. One of the great features is its save/backup, roughly two seconds after you stop any keyboard activity, it saves. You can also set it to remotely back up to your cloud storage when you’ve closed your project.

  3. Well you’ve sold me on it! It looks absolutely fantastic. Great find and yes, the cloud storage backup feature is excellent. Jane will be having to peel you away from the keyboard I think!

    1. Great insight—thanks for that, Grant. I chuckled when he admitted that his developing Scrivener was the ultimate procrastination in the writing of his novel.

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