OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
Using Scrivener for writing and publishing has changed my life as an author.
For my first book, I used MS Word and it was a nightmare to cut and paste everything, as I'm not a linear writer. When I discovered Scrivener, the world became a better place! Then I discovered I could use it to publish in Kindle and ePub formats. Wow! I now recommend it to everyone.
In this article, Joseph Michael, from LearnScrivenerFast, explains how Scrivener can help you. I also highly recommend Joe's training course, which will help you utilize the software faster, saving you time and also money if you use it for ebook formatting.
Webster’s dictionary defines Proficient as:
“Well advanced in an art, occupation, or branch of knowledge.”
Now that sounds pretty good right? Since we are talking about writing let’s take a look at a few synonyms for proficient:
I particularly like the sound of accomplished. How about you?
So how do you become a proficient or accomplished writer?
Well first let’s start by taking a look at those who are where we want to be, those who have “mastered their craft.” One thing I think you will notice is that they all agree that it takes lot’s of time, persistence, and practice. But there is also another key ingredient that is often overlooked.
Having the right tools and knowing how to use them.
- Try to imagine a carpenter building a house without his tools.
- Or a painter without his brush.
- How about a dentist fixing teeth with only his hands?
- How would you feel about a doctor operating on your loved one with substandard tools?
You get the point.
Now let’s talk about writers.
What tools do writers have available to them?
It used to be only a pen and paper.
Then came the typewriter that changed everything.
Then the computer word processor.
Now let me introduce you to the most powerful tool to date, available to writers of all kinds.
Scrivener Is A Proficient Writer’s #1 Tool of Choice
Described by Michael Marshal Smith as “The Biggest Software Advance For Writers Since The Typewriter.” – Scrivener has everything a writer needs and then some.
Let’s take a look at some of them now and how they can help you.
8 Ways Scrivener Will Help You Become A Better Writer Overnight
1. It will help you organize. Scrivener is very similar to a physical binder in the fact that it allows you to capture everything in one place. You can do all your brainstorming, outlining, note-taking, and writing without ever leaving the program.
2. It will help you block out distractions. Sometimes you need complete focus and concentration to write that next scene. Scrivener has an awesome distraction free composition mode that takes over your whole screen and allows you to focus only on your writing.
3. It will help you stay motivated and on target. Set yourself a session goal of 1,000 words or even an entire manuscript target. Than watch your progress bar turn from red to yellow to green and feel that exciting momentum start to build.
Scrivener will even notify you once you hit your target.
And on top of that it has an extremely powerful statistics feature that allows you to track every last detail.
4. It Allows You To Write Now & Re-Order Later. Whether you are a plotter or pantser, Scrivener can cater to your own unique writing style.
You can either plan out your entire book in the binder first and then fill in the sections or simply write on the fly and move things around later.
5. It has a realistic virtual corkboard to help you brainstorm and storyboard.
You have to play around with this yourself to see just how awesome this feature really is. You can write notes on the front of the cards, rearrange them, and even mark them with labels.
6. It will help you collect all your research in one place.
Take all those webpages, pdf’s, images, and even Evernote notes and import them right into Scrivener.
Then choose the “split screen” option and write with your research and editor side-by-side. No more switching back and forth between programs.
7. It allows you to be creative by giving you a powerful safety net feature called Snapshots. Over time your manuscript may take on many different forms. Sometimes you get an idea and just want to run with it, but you are not quite sure how it will work out. No problem. Simply take a snapshot of your manuscript before starting.
This will preserve it in its current state. Now write till you’re heart’s content and if you don’t like it simply click the “Roll Back” button and revert to the previous version. If you want to see what is different between the two versions – click the nifty little “Compare” button.
8. It will format your book for you making self-publishing a cinch. When you are finished with your masterpiece it’s time to compile. Scrivener’s compile feature is one of the most powerful tools around. Just tell Scrivener what kind of platform you want to compile your book for and it will walk you through the rest. Within one menu you can effortlessly include all your front matter pages – title page, copyright, dedication, acknowledgments etc. If you are creating an eBook then Scrivener will automatically handle the clickable table of contents for you. Drop in your cover art, fill in your meta data, then hit compile and you have yourself a publish-ready, perfectly formatted book ready to be uploaded to your platform of choice.
Hopefully you can see just how powerful a tool that Scrivener is for writers of all kinds. These are just a handful of the many features that will help you to perfect your craft and become that accomplished writer that you know you are.
If you don’t already have this amazing tool in your writer’s toolbox then I highly encourage you to try it out and see if doesn’t help you become more efficient and proficient in your writing.
Do you use Scrivener and find it useful? Or do you have any questions about Scrivener? Please join the conversation below.
Joseph Michael is the coach & mastermind behind LearnScrivenerFast.com which helps his audience to learn how to use Scrivener in less than an hour. My testimonial for the course is as follows:
“Learn Scrivener Fast is the most comprehensive and easy-to-use guide to Scrivener, with short, actionable videos that will help you write more efficiently as well as publish more easily. There are tips and tricks for the newbie and the more experienced, I'm learning so much and I've been using Scrivener for years.”
Joanna Penn, www.TheCreativePenn.com also writing as J.F.Penn, NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author, www.JFPenn.com
Joseph has also experienced success with his other sites including — recently hitting 2 million page views on his blog “efficient life skills”. He has been featured on Lifehacker.com & several other popular podcasts such as Entrepreneur on Fire.