The Zen of Inspiration

I’ve never before been a person who conjured up visual images to help me write, but on my new project, images started finding me. Character images. Locations. Ethereal and sublime. I tried to figure out what to do with them, and was contemplating printing them all out and putting them on a corkboard or possibly a collage, or possibly having to learn how to use Photoshop to create a collage or–

And then I was introduced to Scrivener.

I imported the images to my Research corkboard and was amazed at how inspirational it truly is just to pull up that corkboard and give it a once over before I start writing for the day.

I haven’t gotten far enough into my current novel to have much of an outline. But being able to have the Inspector open with the appropriate character image and song file for the current chapter has been amazingly effective.

I haven’t gotten into the really technical aspects of this software but from a purely aesthetic and inspirational view, it rocks.

I wasn’t sure I’d actually write in it. I thought I might just use the corkboard and continue to write in MS Word. But at this point I’m finding that I do like writing in it and exporting has been easy and accurate.

Don’t say that too loud… Keith will have a heart attack!

Scrivener is for writing… the rest of it was just added in to help with the general writing process.

Drop into the uncluttered full screen mode, block everything else out, and write.
Or split the screen, put your work on the left, some research on the right, and write.
Finish a draft, split your work into small chunks, and see how easy it is to rearrange the flow of your work.

But whatever you do, don’t go back to MS Word for the writing!


Please consider


Thank you.

That may be one of the first regular expressions jokes I have seen…

I second that.

It’s not forbidden to go back to MS Word, to make that clear.

It does, however, bring it’s own punishment about.


Well, one must remember that I started writing in MS Word 1.0 on my original Mac in 1984. Yes, the Mac that ran on 128K floppies. I’ve been MS Word faithful for a very long time.

Besides that, I just wasn’t sure why I’d want to change and go through importing/exporting files when I could just write in Word to begin with.

But so far–I’m a believer. The import/export process is w/o flaw. I’d really been worried about little glitches popping up and forcing me to make corrections, but this hasn’t happened.

It would be very nice if there was a way to choose to automatically get notified if there’s a response to any thread I post to, since I usually forget to click “notify me” on individual threads!