Hmmm. Well, I’m a psychologist, and I can tell you that there is a certain amount of evidence that shows that expertise can actually be a barrier to learning new things. So that may be a part of the problem. One thing you might need to bear in mind is that Scrivener is not actually a word processor in the sense that Word is – that is Scrivener’s strength, in fact.
But you say that you don’t want to lose word production capability, and I think that is unrealistic. Getting the best out of Scrivener means finding different ways of doing things, and that will always take time. If I were switching from Wordperfect to MS Word, I wouldn’t expect it to take that long, because they are both word processors, and they have similar paradigms. Scrivener is different, and one has to rethink many things in order to get to grips with it. It is not a question of bending it to your will – you need to find out what it can do for you. As you gain experience with it, you will find your needs changing because of what the software offers. No-one can tell you in advance what you are going to find useful, and where your exploration of the software will lead you. Actually, to use an expression I have used before on these forums, I tend to think of user+software as a system. In fact the expression “user” is probably incorrect if we want to think in terms of systems, but I don’t want to get bogged down (and neither do you!). The point is that there is an interaction so the user-software system is bound to evolve over time. I’m sure this is all too philosophical, but hell, I am a psychologist!
On another thread you said that I hadn’t answered another poster’s question – I believe that in fact I had answered one of them: I said “don’t change horses in mid-stream” and that would be my advice to you. If you want to learn Scrivener, start a completely new project in it, and keep your existing writing going in the environment you know, otherwise you could lose a lot of time (and hair) trying to get things ready for deadlines. (And if you don’t believe me, look at how complex Compile is.)
And incidentally, you have said almost nothing about your processes of composition – only that you write a lot, and quickly. I have adopted certain working practices, but I can’t tell if they would be of any use to you. For example, I make absolutely no use of corkboard, outliner, synopsis, labels, keywords, nor many of the other things that attract people to Scrivener. For me, the magic thing is that I can put every single paragraph in a separate document, and either view each one alone, or combine them on the fly to see the whole flow of text (Scrivenings mode). (Because I write non-fiction the order in which I present material is absolutely crucial if people are to understand my argument.) I can stick notes to myself in a panel at the side so that I can see it at the same time as my main text, and if I cut something out I can also put it there in case I want it again. So I probably use a tenth of the features of Scrivener – but the ones I do use are ones that I can’t find in other programs. I write very, very slowly, because I like to hone every sentence, and I constantly re-order paragraphs to achieve the right flow. I find this “messing about” with the order of things much easier in Scrivener than in a word processor – partly because it is so easy to flip back and forth between the single paragraph and the whole text. But a process like this would probably not apply to you – I’m guessing that you would be more likely to want to have your documents at chapter level, not paragraph.
As for wanting to keep several novels in a single Scrivener project, I’m not sure how that would work out. I believe other people have tried it, so if you hunt around the forum you may find posts on the subject. I would only say that I stopped keeping research material in Scrivener because I deal with such large amounts of material that it got unwieldy. I use Devonthink instead (the present database has four million words in it, and it hardly knows it’s doing any work). But then, I specialise in long projects (six to eight years for each, so far).
I’m afraid this probably hasn’t been any help at all, but I suppose I just wanted to say that Scrivener gets used in all sorts of ways to do many different kinds of things. It’s very flexible, so it’s very difficult to tell someone how to use it. It isn’t just a tool for creative writers in a hurry – it is also great for academic plodders like me, who are sufficiently obsessive to consider having a “document” that consists of a single sentence. With Scrivener, you can do that. But you probably have to throw away a few concepts as you adapt to the software.
Anyway, whatever you decide, I hope it works out. And I hope the rambling disquisition above at least shows that there are many ways of skinning many different cats, and that it is at least not totally irrelevant to the original post (though if you stay around here you will discover that there is a long-established tradition on these forums of straying far, far from the original topic).
Edited for a missing apostrophe.