The Messy Way

Back in May, I read this excellent post by Larissa Graham  on the SCBWI MD/DE/VA blog.  She sang the praises of writing software, Scrivener in particular.  I was intrigued.  Maybe I would find grand new vistas of productivity if I just found the right software!

So I downloaded the demos for Scrivener and a few other programs, eager to give them a try…but as soon as I opened them up, I knew that specialized writing software is not for me.  They do have neat features.  For example,  in Scrivener, you can organize plot and character information on “corkboards” and easily assemble a synopsis.  I can see how these programs would be valuable in organizing your manuscript and save time.

But here’s the thing: I am the kind of person who procrastinates by organizing my to-do list.  (I have a very long to-do list, which, believe it or not, includes things like “Breathe”.  That’s to remind me to stop and take a few deep breaths every now and then.)  I could get swallowed up by all the bells and whistles and never actually write a thing.

I need the freedom and tyranny of the blank page, or I will never get anything done.

And, I admit, I need to have at least some of my notes on actual paper.  I like my notebooks full of world building and maps and drawings.  I like using index cards and post it notes in different ways at different times.

I like that writing isn’t something I’m trying to do as expeditiously as possible, like so many other things in my life.  It’s messy and it requires time to do it right.

And I am okay with that.

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