I was surprised today to find not only that there was a completely new version of Scrivener, but far more astounding is that we as users didn’t have to pay a dime to get yet another copy of the program that I believe I paid for far more than four years ago back when the program was so young that I appealed to the main developer for a free copy when I first got it because I was very tight on money at the time but was so in love with the program that as a writer I simply had to have a copy. I remember beginning to port all my poetry, blog posts, and all the research that I had been gathering - plotting out a score of different novels that I had never gotten far beyond the very complicated linear and ultimately gargantuan waste of time that I knew as the working outlines for several books that never made it past the first few pages because I knew that I wanted to be a writer for a living but I wasn’t mature enough to let go of the fear that I wasn’t good enough to get beyond the outlines and actually start putting sentences together.
Furthermore, the move to Scrivener was really a leap of faith for me at the time because at that point in the applications history it suffered from the lack of any way to turn the main cursor into anything other than a sliver of a line that blinks and is very hard for the visually and physically disabled such as myself to deal with because, for us, NOBODY big or small in the Word Processor world had ever considered the fact that the lack of an old school non-blinking very large and very easy to see square cursor literally makes navigating a document the length of more than a few pages crippling. I also cannot work in a writing environment that doesn't allow you to change the white background black text scheme to anything that you want. My eyes simply cant handle it for long periods of time and after the DOS version of Word 2.0 went windows they simply took the beautiful block that doesn't blink and the ability to change colors away and never looked back. To this day the emails I've sent microsoft and everybody else there was that had a program capable of properly saving a document with more than 20,000 words either went unanswered or, in the case of Word, the head of accessibility sent me a reply saying that inserting those features would mean changing millions of lines of code because both the color scheme and the cursor were capstones of the actual ENTIRE OS, and thus far too difficult to make custom to a users preference regardless of the fact that the accessibility department was designed to make things easier for cripples like me. I even got the same answer (different reasons) from the folks at openoffice.org and its mac counterpart. I sent the same appeal to Keith and in less than two weeks later those options made it into the next testing build and have (THANK YOU) since remained a standard feature. I hope that they forever remain as they are, a very simple preference that you can turn on and off, and he even went to the trouble to allow users of Scrivener to make the block cursor as huge as you want independent of text size. Because of this it no longer matters to me what Scrivener costs - he could jack the price to that of Microsoft Office. As long as I can still type with four fingers on my one good hand, Scrivener will always be where everything important to my future as a writer regardless of whether or not I'm ever published will begin and end. The nerve endings in my typing fingers are dying, just like the rest of them - across the scope of my entire body. Consequently this means that often when every other normal person is sleeping I'm often up at odd hours (its 3 am here and my legs are shaking so hard that a shot of liquid morphine does nothing but make the agony tolerable). And the day will come when I'll no longer be able to use EITHER hand. Engineering friends are already building a helmet for me to wear that anchors a rod the diameter of a pencil made from metal so that when the time comes I can tap the keys one by one with my chin. I may very well be reduced to that, and when the time comes and there aren't any nerve endings left I'll die. But with every person that reads this post and God as my witness — (metaphorically speaking) before I fall as a Spartan at Thermopolie I'm going to write at least one NY times best seller and one book that wins me the Pulitzer. I welcome the bombardment of arrows from the archers of the Persian empire that descend methodically upon me and blot out the sun. Courage and Faith are my Armor, and Scrivener is my twin set of perfectly balanced double bladed Battle Axes, and regardless of cost I will continue to renew my liscences and genuinely look forward to the remainder of my days. Because my disability hasn't the scope or power to break my warrior spirit, silence my defiantly screamed battle cry, or nullify Histories testament of my willingness to meet my Destiny fighting in the Shade.
As for the rest of you, if you write anything with the passion that comes from a soul that simply demands that you must with no regard for the possibility whatsoever of failure, Keith works tirelessly to ensure that if you choose wisely to exclusively hone your craft within the confines of a Mac of any modern construct his product now eclipses anything else you might consider with a poise and elegant finesse that modestly downplays the simple irrefutable certainty that Scrivener now sets the standard by which all other creative writing applications should be measured and judged - past, present, and future. Buy it - end of discussion.
Keith - I most respectfully remain your friend and faithful servant.
-ShadeofGrey (Christopher Ryan)