Beach balls everywhere

I’m getting very frustrated. I created a new project on Friday, but only got as far as creating several pages that are empty except for the title. I shut my computer down over the weekend and fired up scrivener first thing this morning. The project is fine, but everything I do in scrivener generates a wait of at least 5 seconds and the spinning beach ball. None of the other programs I have running are having any difficulties, and I don’t even have my normal compliment of applications running yet today. Just Skype, Mail, Safari, iCal, iTunes, Papers, and Scrivener. I’m usually also running Word, Excel, Address Book, and possibly Preview, Keynote, Powerpoint, and/or VirtualBox.

I then fired up activity monitor and failed to see any system resource issues, or any evidence that Scrivener was working as hard as it appears to be. Next I restarted Scrivener, and created a new project (I hadn’t really accomplished all that much on Friday), but that did not fix anything. I’m running the latest version 1.54 on Snow Leopard 10.6.4 and a 3 month old iMac. I’ve looked in /Library/Logs/CrashReporter and ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter in addition to “All Messages” in the Console and I see nothing.

Everything worked fine on Friday, but now it’s unusably slow (I can easily out pace Scrivener typing, and I don’t type very fast at all. Maybe 40 words/min). Any suggestions for troubleshooting this?

Where is the project saved? If it is saved to something like MobileMe, then the auto-save, which kicks in every two seconds of inactivity, can cause slowdown.

Do you have CleanMyMac installed or anything else that runs routinely in the background?

Best,
Keith