Hi There! Well, I’m doing something different on the blog. I’ve been meaning to start writing reviews and this is my first one.
This is a review of a new-to-me writing program called Scrivener. It’s not a sponsored post, I’m just writing this for the sake of informing the crowd so to speak. If you’re a blogger or a writer, it may be interesting for you.
This blog is sort of like a baby, a work of love that I do in my free time and I’m always looking for tools to make it more efficient for writing posts and organizing them.
Self-publishing and blogging intrigues me and since it doesn’t require a large investment of money, I dove right in. Yep, It’s time-consuming, but relatively inexpensive and it keeps me from doing stupid stuff!
I really enjoy writing posts when an idea strikes me, but I am also fascinated with the content management part of blogging. Blogging projects or ideas is a way to express myself creatively, satisfies the writing bug and is a great way to journal. I started using WordPress for my website a few years ago and once I got the hang of it, it was and is relatively easy to use (as long as you don’t overload it with plug-ins).
There is only one thing that really bothered me while writing or editing posts, and that was the slow editor refresh. Yes, I suppose it all depends on the speed of the Internet connection or my website host, but I found it tiring waiting for my browser to refresh after just editing one word. It kind of takes the fun out of posting.
This is where Scrivener, the writing software comes in
So, I did a little research and found a software program I was willing to download and try out. Scrivener is a writing software that was created and is being distributed by Literature & Latte.
Scrivener allows me to incorporate writing this blog and use a content management system all at once. It’s sort of like having your cake and eating it too, can you tell I’m excited? I’m using a test version and I can already say, I truly enjoy working with it!
Scrivener subtly uses the advantages of content management
Like I said, I’m a big fan of content management and while I was working at my job in technical documentation, we had a writing program that was based on XML, made good use of content management, but cost mucho grande $$$ and was pretty complicated to use.
Now using Scrivener, I find lots of similar functions at far less cost, and so far it has been relatively simple to use (at least what I use it for).
I’ve already used it to write this road-trip post recently. The article is pretty long and Scrivener helped me organize it well. You can write your chapters and paragraphs (or however you set up your writing) in modular form and move things around before compiling, sending it on its (HTML) way and finally publishing it to your blog.
I found that during writing, I tend to write down ideas coming at the top of my head and for the reader, it would probably make absolutely no sense if I kept everything in the order that it comes out of my head! The integrated WordPress editor is like a blank page and writing is pretty straight forward word-processing. There is one page and you just write, copy and paste if you want to rearrange anything.
Scrivener is different, it allows me to treat what I would want as a separate chapter or paragraph as a lone document, which I can then switch around and rearrange any way I choose. This way, things flow easier, especially if you have a very long post or essay to write.
I can’t go into all the features that this program has because, to be honest, I don’t know them all. I’m still learning. I haven’t even officially bought it yet, but I already know I will. I can tell you what I’ve been using so far. Along with the free trail download of Scrivener (a 30-day actual use free trail), I’ve downloaded a Scrivener template by Jennifer Mattern of www.allindiewriters.com here. She has added a few folders and helpful templates.
Jennifer Mattern also has this great tutorial and review of Scrivener for bloggers, which describes the major functions. This is what I used to start off learning Scrivener.
Since I’m just beginning I obviously can’t get into exactly how everything functions, there is a learning curve that goes along with it and I still have lots to learn, but if you know what you want to write and how you want to organize things, Scrivener allows for any individual setups you may choose. All the while you can work offline, which means it’s faster and you can work undisturbed by the Internet’s seductive powers (a ha!), to my shame, a biggy for me.
In fact, Scrivener is so fast, that I may not ever use MS Word again. With Scrivener, you can export your documents as .doc files, so if need be, compatibility is not a problem. Exporting or saving a document in other file extensions is done with the ‘compile’ function.
It is also very easy to compile a PDF, easy and fast. Call me geeky, but I get excited about things like this! In the past and without an Adobe Acrobat program, it was somewhat of an adventure creating a PDF file and this program makes it fun.
Probably what had me most excited about Scrivener, is the price. Because I can actually afford it. At 40$ for a license, it is affordable for most bloggers I think.
Although it probably sounds like this is a sponsored post, I assure you it is not. I am just fond of using this program and wanted to share my excitement. All-in-all I couldn’t ask for a better writing partner right now and after I pay for my license, I sure hope it stays that way. By the way, this post was also written with Scrivener.
What about you, are you using any other program to write your blog posts other than the integrated blog-editor? What has your experience been?
On another note, I finished painting the the first part of our basement and wow, I’m amazed what a little bit of white paint can do! We are needing to paint our downstairs combination kitchen, living area and I’m going to be spending time searching for just the right color white. ET isn’t too keen on bright white, so I’m going to have to find just the right hue. We’ll have some busy times once the whether gets warmer and our heater gets installed, I will be painting up a storm here!
Cheers and have a great week!
Some helpful Scrivener links
Jennifer Mattern also has this great tutorial and review of Scrivener for blogging