After dinner and dishes last night, I’d flopped on the bed and on a whim, I opened my mail app on my phone. I had an email that I need to look at on the desktop so I schlepped into my office. I dealt with the email and decided to check out the blog roll because, hey, Cheezburger memes! And then I remembered that I hadn’t set up today’s blog. So…I opened the edit tab for WordPress and started to head to my Scrivener app to copy/paste the words I’d written last week for…tomorrow. Wednesday Words. Tuesday. Treats. And titles. And I got nada. Zilch. Zero. It didn’t help that I was wide awake at 4 a.m. and at 9:17 p.m. as I’m trying to figure out what to write about, my brain is like, “Dudette! Seriously? You want me to…you know…actually think? Moi?:!” Uh, yeah, brain, I do.
So let’s talk about writing. And things we use to help us write–whethre it be writing software, a quick research trick, a way to organize notes…
I mentioned Scrivener above. I tumbled onto Scrivener years ago when I “won” National Novel Writing Month. By winning, for those of you not familiar, it means I completed 50K words on a novel. Literature & Latte, the parent company and creators of Scrivener, was a sponsor that year. As a winner, I got a code to get a copy of Scrivener for half price. This included lifetime updates and as many computers as I need–like a desktop and a laptop. It was created specifically for Mac and I had a Mac Air at the time. Long story short, I tried the 30-day trial, kinda liked the thing, so I splurged and spent the $40 to buy it. Then they finally came out with a Windows version, which is what runs my desktop (and my new laptop which yes, has a free copy of Scriverner). The deal is, I had to buy the Windows version. TOTALLY worth it! I took an on-line class from a friend who wrote (at L&L’s request) the “Scriverner for Dummies” book. I’ve never looked back though I do wish I’d known a bit more about the program, the way it actually works for me, and how I use it. I would have done things differently. Ah well, live and learn.
Some of the mistakes? I set up a Scrivening (the name for a folder) each time I started a book in a series. I was doing a lot of copy/paste of background info and research. Then I had that proverbial 💡 moment and realized I could set up one folder for an entire series. I’d go back and fix all that but, at the same time, I discovered Dropbox as a way to automatically backup files to the cloud. To consolidate now would be a huge hassle. I’d either have to go into the cloud to delete the original copies of the stuff I moved from original folders to new folders, or I’d just have to leave the originals. and try to remember they are the old copies and I should ignore them. There’s probably an easier way but my brain doesn’t work tech like a normal person. Don’t ask. I’ve learned and now, all new projects are set up correctly.
Have I bored you completly yet? There are a couple of bottom lines here. One, like I’ve mentioned before, be organized. Don’t be me! And two, my organizational skills are directly linked to the way I write. Which is the big reason I love Scrivenr. I can switch from test to bulletin board views and as long as I’ve jotted notes on the “card” attached to that file, I can see what I’ve done–where I’ve been, where I’m going, where the holes are. That scene that’s currently chapter 12 actually belongs in chapter 3? Not a problem. I simply drag and drop that card to the coorect place. It’s like a virtual white board! And yes, I have a physical white board. Five, in fact. And all of them are covered with notes, Post-Its, print-outs, and I think there might be a bookmark, some message buttons, and some magnets.
Anyway, today’s “title” is Scrivener. Or any writing software that you find usable. That just leaves me with coming up with a treat. *thinkthinkthinks* 🤔 Have I mentioned the Decadent Cowboy Cookies I buy at Wallyworld? They are big. Soft. And totally decadent. There’s pecans, cinnamon, granulated suger, coconut, and semi-sweet chocolate chunks. If I were a more dedicated cook, I’d play around with something like the Toll House recipe and see if I could come close to replicating them but I’m lazy. It’s far easier to pick up a dozen and a half (3 boxes of 6) and just splurge. Plus, instant gratification.
So, there ya go, folks. I little insight into the crazy that is my head, my process, and my sweet tooth. Writers, do you have a favorite softward, app, or tool that you couldn’t write without? And readers, homemade or bakery coolies, and favorite flavor/kind?
I’m Word all the way. I’ve been using it for so long I know all the ins and outs of it. At work they use Google everything, so I’m getting the hang of that word processing program, but Word is still my thang.
Those cookies sound good. I’ve never seen them at my Wallyworld, though. Bummer. I’ll stick to my homemade cookies. I have this one recipe for Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies that includes peanut butter. Yummers. I just need to find the time to make them. In a pinch, I just throw some cake cookies together and call it good.
Goodgle docs is similar to Word so the transition shouldn’t be too hard. I just appreciate the ease of organization and ability to shuffle without having to copy/cut/paste and trying to remember what’s where in Word. And yes, I send everything to Word for final formatting and upload on my self-pub and to send to the HQN editor because that’s what they work in. Everyone has their preferences and I needed a topic. 🤣
At my Wallyworld, there’s a round “independent” display table stacked with the clear plastic boxes of Decadent cookies. They have ALLLLL sorts of flavors, some of which I’m tempted to try but LG and I just keep buying the Cowboy onces because they just hit the spot. They’re a “Marketplace” brand so you might look around the bakery/deli area. Good luck!
Google Docs is a pale alternative, but it works for what I do. Google Sheets… ugh. It works but some of the stuff feels like doing it the hard way. I would rather have Excel.
I admit, I’ve only used Sheets once, and that was to fill in some info on a book for that anthology series I was a part of. For simply logging title, main character’s names and descriptions, it was fine. But yeah. Excel does almost magical stuff. I did all my crime analysis data in Excel and that was back in the dark ages before all the updates. LOL Hang in there. Maybe you can convert them to Excel before all is said and done…. 🤞🏼