Thursday, January 24, 2008

Batleby the Scrivener...NOT

After reading about it in the NYT magazine, I tried Scrivener, "a word processor and project management tool created specifically for writers of long texts such as novels and research papers." You can download a free 30-day trial on this website. I did. I gave it a whirl, but no chemistry there. I did appreciate the bells and whistles-- letting you keep and organize clippings, links, video clips, notes (on "notecards" on a "corkboard,") but in the end it seemed I was doing more process than content. I know there's a learning curve, but...I actually like using real notecards...doodling, coloring, flipping them around, posting them on my real door. I use color coded highlighting in my regular ol' Word in my drafts [ green means good stuff buy maybe not in this paragraph; yellow means this needs scrutiny; blue means delete this tomorrow with a fresh eye, etc.] Not that I'm a luddite...I love technology and the digital age... but I also like working with my hands and the actual physical act of occasionally writing by hand or scrawling on a flipchart or arranging notecards, stimulates my creativity. So when it comes to Scrivener, in the words of Melville's Bartleby: "I would prefer not to, sir."

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