Using Scrivener to cope with a busy brain

It’s my blog day again? Seriously? The month flies, and I’m so busy right now that my brain feels like a skipping album (does anyone other than me remember those?)

I’ve picked up a few new responsibilities at my day job, and it requires me to switch hats at least twice a day. I’m constantly learning new stuff which, if you know anything about me, is like crack for me. My social schedule has gotten more crowded – and as the girl who used to spend way too much time alone, I’m thrilled. And my writing career is progressing. I’ve entered two contests in the same month.

To keep from obsessing over contest results, I’m trying to write another book – a nice, juicy suspense story about a serial killer, an FBI profiler, and the woman stuck between them — but my brain keeps skipping over the tracks.

It doesn’t help that my characters were stuck in boring exposition mode for far too long – they’re trying to find themselves on paper. Now they’re awake and chattering incessantly while I’m trying to focus on my day job. So I’m learning to cope.

First, music makes them shut up. If you see me with earbuds in my ears, I’m not being rude. I’m trying to think, and the fiction side of my brain can be distracted with music. However, the side effect is horrible dancing. Knock before you come into my office and you won’t be subjected to it.

Second, I’m writing the scenes as the come to me, rather than in order. It helps avoid, “I’m going to forget this if I don’t keep thinking about it.” I can get it out of my head and move on.

That’s why I’m a huge fan of Scrivener. The software lets me plot and rearrange that plot. I can write scenes in any order and then rearrange the scenes. They have an awesome tutorial, just go see that to learn everything Scrivener can do.

I’ve tried writing in Word, and the writing isn’t the issue. It’s the editing. Cutting and pasting, more cutting and pasting, and scrolling, and forgetting where things were and where they should go, or changing my mind. I’m new. I edit a lot. Scrivener helps me edit. And it helps my brain not skip things.

HarrietGo have fun, and cross your fingers on my contests, please. I need all the good luck I can get. Thanks!


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4 thoughts on “Using Scrivener to cope with a busy brain

  1. Leaning toward the Scrivener, and agree on the Word comment. I’ve got scribbles everywhere and need a good organizer. Especially When I’m writing a series.
    Best of luck on the contests. The courage to click on that “post” button is the first big step.

    1. Lee — I love Scrivener’s ability to let me storyboard using virtual index cards. All my scribbles can go there, or in documents. And the trash doesn’t get taken out until I decide to do it. Someone in our group also uses it with DropBox, so if she’s writing away from home she still captures everything in one place.

      Thank you for the luck! Intellectually I know nothing will happen if I don’t turn loose of my work, but it’s terrifying. (At least none of the judges know who I am.)


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