Still writing!

Coming up on halfway through NaNo and I’m doing my best to keep the pace going!  I went to bed early a couple nights and my early lead slid back to the daily word count goal. I’m at 15.5K words and still going.

Aside from the fun premise and my excitement for the idea, I have Scrivener to thank for the way it has fundamentally changed the way I write. I’ve had to abandon so many ideas and stories because I thought I had to write things in a linear way, and if I wrote just the “good bits” without knowing how they would eventually connect, then I was a hack who couldn’t put a story together to save her life.

Then last year, just before NaNo, one of the folks in my local chapter told me that Scrivener was a free download during November and there was a discount on it after NaNo was over. I’d heard good things about it back when I was in Philly, but I was still thinking that writing had to be linear and didn’t see anything good about arranging scenes. They should already be arranged, right? When you write the story.

Things had changed. My life had changed. The way I accessed my creativity had changed. Why not give it a shot this year?


I was setting up scene “cards” on my virtual corkboard and would choose whichever one I wanted to write during word sprints, writing all over my timeline as the inspiration struck me. If I made a mistake in continuity? I could fix it later. This was just a first draft anyway.


I know that a lot of this is because my life changed so much in a few short years, and all of the things that were going so turbulently wrong (and thus my creative things I did for fun had to be RIGHT) were gone or made right again. But Scrivener and NaNo certainly helped frame my new outlook with exactly the right things that I needed.

That’s why I hope to do NaNo every year from now on. And I’m definitely aiming to win it again for the second year in a row.

Alex O'Loughlin - crazyface

Wish me words!


4 thoughts on “Still writing!

  1. I can’t seem to write in a linear format to save my life! My brain maps things out all over the place. Seriously, it’s an organizational system that only I could possibly comprehend. I just write what comes, and separate everything by page breaks. My manuscript is a MESS! Thanks for the tip about Scrivener. I’ve just downloaded it and will use it to organize what I have in December, but for now, I’m just going to keep chugging away and adding to the mess I’ve already started.

    • Scrivener is amaaaaazing! It really is a virtual corkboard where you can arrange all of your scenes in the order that you like them BEFORE you compile it into a single document. Watch the beginning tutorial – it is invaluable and will make you want to do ALL THE THINGS with it 😉

  2. Okay, so I’d gotten Scrivener (free) a couple years back and never used it because I was so intimidated/ confused by it — and I can usually fly programs with ease! So I’ve never really used it. You’ve SO been making me rethink this… 🙂

    • For me it was watching the introductory video on how to use it. I know, I know, RTFM and all, but once I knew how everything was supposed to go, it clicked LIKE WHOA. Mostly I love that I can organize the story and scenes BEFORE putting it into a big document for publishing.

      Seriously, it’s awesome. Check the video out when you can!

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