Scrivener – What Writers Do When They Should be Writing

Like most writers, when I am feeling blocked I tend to reach for some new tool that will make all my dreams come true. You know, if I were only more organized, then I would be successful. I might actually finish something in fact.

This is crazy talk of course. Who would want to be organized?

Still, when I start thinking about buying a new pen, or purchasing a new Moleskine when my last one is barely half full, I know that I’m blocked.

Software is another one of those things that I goof off with. This is a bane of the modern writer. Voltaire never had to worry about what program he was going to use next. Although I’m sure that quill selection was something he did worry about and probably more often than he liked.

By nature, I am a Mac person. This is not because I’m technophobic. In fact, I’ve made my living off of making these little machines do interesting things. I like them. They are my friends, except when they act funny and then they are the evil spawn of a soulless culture bent on destroying our species from the inside out.

But I digress.

At the moment, I am evaluating Scrivener ($34.99) and I must admit that I am liking the package. Below is a clip from another review of Scrivener on 43Folders:

If you write like I do (and I pray that you do not), you have a messy approach to drafting that is iterative, intuitive, and far from linear. You do a brain dump, then type a little, then research a little, then type a little more, then move a bunch of stuff around, then groan aloud, then 80% start over and so on until something is done. Yes, it would be more tidy if we all followed the mandate of our elementary school teachers and wrote perfect 5-paragraph essays straight from a completed outline. But, such is life. And Scrivener seems to get that.

I quoted this block for obvious reasons. Writing is an iterative process. You get some down and then you go off and brood. I’ve been brooding for awhile though, imagining new universes, new technologies, and of course new pens! All of these things are terribly interesting of course, brilliant in fact, but in the end it doesn’t get another word written. It doesn’t put another thought down on paper where it belongs. They are the proverbial sound and fury signifying nothing and all that kind of Shakespeare jazz.

You know, I wonder what he did when he was blocked?

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