The Nature of the Block

I haven’t done much serious writing at all in the past couple of months, strangely about the same length of time since I began playing around with Scrivener. Although it would be easy to blame something outside of myself for this, I know it is my own blockages that I need to work through.

For my project, a novel (I’m up to almost 70,000 words), I find that I do my best writing when I get a daily flow happening. Before my current blockage I would get up at 5 am each morning and write 500-1000 words before even letting myself think about work or anything else I needed to get done that day.

My project started in Word and then migrated to CopyWrite when I found it. However, when I first played around with Scrivener I found it to “fit” better with how I wanted my writing to work. BUT, because it was ‘only a beta’ I thought I’d do my ‘serious’ writing in CopyWrite still (which hasn’t happened) and do other things in Scrivener. Due to this, and being away on holidays at the time, I got out of my daily flow. I have had this happen before and the longer I stay away from my writing, the more of a deal it seems to go back and pick up where I left off.

The other morning I opened up Scrivener and added 300 words which, although well below my normal effort, did feel good, however I haven’t even looked at it since.

I don’t know what I hope to achieve by writing this in here, but hopefully something will come out of it.

I know this is an old post, but I find it interesting that this blockage came about the same time the writer started playing with Scrivener. I’ve been testing out lots of writing apps and thought I finally settled on Copywrite, then I found Scrivener. I liked what I saw in SG, then also downloaded the current beta. I ran through the tutorial in SG, then the one in the current beta just so I could see the differences. Although I can see how nice it would be to keep everything under one roof, I also see how distracting all this can be. I think I’d spend less time writing and more time “fiddling” with my story. I’m sticking with Copywrite right now - keeps things simple and my focus on the writing. Hell, it’s only $30. I’ll keep my eyes on Scrivener, but besides being beta (I really can’t get myself to use something for something as important as my writing unless I know it’s stable), I just think there may be too much in this app. SG was looking good - I’m not sure I like where it went. It seems to be getting too busy. Just my 2 cents. Maybe I’ll be back after giving Copywrite a whirl.

Interesting that you find S1 more busy than SG. I’m the opposite. I found myself never writing too much in SG because the interface felt busy to me, but with S1 I have no problems writing. It feels very clean to me. The few things that are new to S1 are quite tucked away until you need them, if you ever do. Have you tried running without Binder and Inspector? Turning them on and off is no more bothersome than switching from Binder Mode to Composer mode in SG, and the result is an extremely clean interface.

Thanks for your feedback, surfdog. Like AmberV, I am surprised you find the new beta busier than SG, as the whole focus was really streamlining the interface. The feature set hasn’t really changed, but there are now less modes and niggly little bits. Still, if CopyWrite works best for you, fair enough. It is great that there is a range of tools from which you can choose the one that fits your own workflow, and the developer of CopyWrite is a nice guy and it is a stable product.
All the best,

Yeah, my experience is really different. I love using Scr. and so I write more, not less. I love doing research in it and I love organizing my work in it. I guess for me, being more organized equals a more pleasurable, cleaner work environment and that equals getting more productive work done. I really didn’t use SG that much since I came to it late and knew there was a new beta coming, so I can’t really compare. But the new Scr. is a wonderful work environment that, at least for me, encourages more productivity rather than hinders it, since I love writing/working in it.


For me, Scrivener was actually a productivity-booster. Not sure why. After all, it’s all in our heads, and what tools we use is secondary.

Copywrite I bought immediately after finding it, and did some writing there. But I couldn’t set up any reasonable structure there. I write in text segments, and Copywrite is all about linear chapters.

I think I mentioned somewhere I went up to 10,000 words a week after moving to Scrivener. This week I was down to 2,000 because I was given a job offer to move my whole family to Moscow, which I declined and now I may need to resign. The whole thing impacted my productivity, giving me a ‘block’.

It’s interesting how we connect our output to writing environments… procrastination by way of fiddling with writing programs is a serious form of art :slight_smile:

Though not quite as artful as procrastinating by creating your own writing program. :slight_smile: Now that really gives you an excuse to put of the Great Novel.

Orson Scott Card on writer’s block: … on22.shtml