This could get long, I’m coming off of a very long November.
I am relatively new to Macs. I got my very first Mac in December 2008 and I am still thrilled to tell everyone who will listen, that I am typing on that very same Mac right now. I am impressed and amazed that I have had a computer this long and have never had to call tech support and have not had a hard drive blow up, or the back light in a screen go out for no apparent reason other than it just felt like dying that day. When I went to the genius bar to get my iPhone fixed, the Genius told me I could expect to have my Mac for another three years. I grinned like a kid on Christmas when he told me that.
I love being a Mac owner.
I have been searching for word processing software since I bought my Mac. I wasn’t a fan of Word even when I had PC’s. I don’t really need an “office” suite and OO for Mac is SLOW.
Last year, I bought a competing piece of Mac word processing software and liked it pretty well, but I was having a hard time with organizing my thoughts while working through this year’s NaNo novel. This novel is very important to me, it’s a story that’s been kicking around in my brain for years and I finally decided to get it out of my system and see if I could make a go of something with it. I was getting annoyed with the process of creating in this other software. It didn’t do things that I wanted it to do and was too… featureless.
I broke 50,000 words on November 12. The problem with that, is that what I was writing had no direction, no guidance. It meandered all over the place and didn’t adhere to any sort of time line. There was no good way to organize the scenes I was writing into timeline and write them out of order, which is what I tend to do. Sometimes I want to work on the end of my story first, and go back to the beginning later, or write a scene in the middle and then work chronologically forward from there for a while.
My process has NEVER worked for me when I was using any tools other than a three ring binder, a typewriter and a hole punch.
During the middle of NaNo, I ended up needing to make a day trip out of town, so I updated all of my podcasts and went out on the open road. I was listening to Andy Inahtko talk about the various Mac apps that he loves and he started talking about Scrivener. His praise for Scrivener was just glowing. Then I saw that some authors that I really respected and loved used Scrivener exclusively and then I saw the trial version available for WriMos… I had to at least give it a shot.
On day 14, I downloaded the Scrivener trial and ported over some of my NaNo novel into it.
Scrivener saved my novel.
I was in a place where I was ready to call it done for the year. After I installed it, I ended up organizing the whole thing in the binder. I fit my outline into 11 chapters in the binder with no trouble at all. I cut chunks of text out of my old document and placed them in a new one and it took me about one afternoon to set the whole annoying, frustrating, beast of a project to rights. I wish that I had started the novel this way in the first place.
It’s December now and I’m still working on my novel, which is odd. I love to write, I love being a writer, but I don’t get paid for it. I have always been way too frustrated with the process to try to make it something more than just a creative outlet. It is what I am, not what I do.
Scrivener might just make a doer out of me.