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?