Embracing My Dummy Status

I’ve used the¬† writing software Scrivener in the past, but haven’t touched it in quite a while which means I’ve forgotten how to navigate it. I was never a pro user and only utilized a small percentage of its capabilities, but even those basic skills have vanished in the mists. So today I’m using Scrivener for Dummies by Gwen Hernandez to reacquaint myself with the program. (I find the Scrivener manual to be more of a rabbit hole of confusion than a help). This Dummies book isn’t perfect, but I am finding my way and making progress outlining my work-in-progress.

Proof I’m hard at work!

My favorite aspect of Scrivener is the corkboard because I do so much better when I can take in the whole of something. Plus, I can label and color code my index cards!¬†Despite the learning curve that’s always involved when Tracy Meets Software, I’m pretty sure I’m having more fun than Bartelby the Scrivener ever experienced.

Bartleby, the Scrivener

I’m using Scrivener for the YA I’m revising and even with all its bells and whistles, sometimes I feel a bit like Bartleby. Obviously, that’s a stretch since that poor dude had to laboriously hand copy legal documents while I’m using writing software and a printer. Still, it feels like forever that I’ve been hunched over this novel, painstakingly revising each chapter.

The good news: I’m (mostly) enjoying the process and have not yet proclaimed “I would prefer not to.” Also? I haven’t alienated everyone around me and am not sleeping in a doorway.

Around these parts, we call that a WIN.
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PSA: Use Paper!

                  

As mentioned here and here, I've been using Scrivener to write a first draft
and while I love the program for many reasons,
I got caught up in my chapters being (easily accessible) separate files
and so never printed out anything.

As a result, I got a wee bit confused on plot issues
and came to a screeching halt when I felt overwhelmed by the whole process.

This past weekend I printed out all I'd written and read it again.
Wow.
Hard copies are awesome. 
And helpful.
And absolutely vital to the writing process.

So, friends, don't scrimp on your paper usage just because it's better for the planet.
The planet does need our love and care, but so does our mental health.                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                            © Tracy Abell 2009      

Bwak!
What she said!
     

                       

I’ve Seen the Light!

                 

This is NOT me.


                                                                                     image from morguefile.com

The photo, however, represents how I feel right now.

Just one week ago I was a weepy little mess as I struggled to learn Scrivener.
Today I’m thrilled to announce I understand the basics of this writing software,

and that I’m looking ahead to a more streamlined, organized approach to writing novels.
 
I’m still a huge fan of carrying around a notebook, and that won’t change.
 
But.
 
 
I appreciate the words of encouragement and tips shared in my original post.
Thank you, friends!
 
                

Friday Five: The Scrivener Edition

                 

In honor of massively computer-challenged Me learning how to use Scrivener for Windows

(writing software adored by oodles of writers), here are some glimpses into my journey:
 
                                                                                            image from morguefile.com
 
1) Yesterday I shed tears of frustration and pulled my hair. Literally.
 
2)  Today I teared up a tiny bit when faced with something I absolutely did not understand,
and then wiped away those tears and told myself "You might not even need to know that."
 
3)  My mantra: Even if I master only a tiny percentage of what this program can do, 
that tiny percentage will be huge in comparison to what I knew about Scrivener last week.
 
4)  The thought of writing with a "corkboard" and "index cards" has kept me going, and sure enough,
those are the features I’m "mastering" and will be able to use right from the start.
 
5)  I’m sure it doesn’t count for anything but I feel better prepared to learn this software
having read Melville’s Bartleby, the Scrivener in my sophomore English class.
 
Anyone else out there have an emotion-laden time learning this software?
(For those who mastered it without a problem, it’s probably best to keep that to yourself.)