Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Learning Curve and Moving Forward

Last weekend didn't go as I thought it might. I had imagined having hours of leisure time, sleeping in, spending hours alone doing whatever my heart desired - well, almost.

I didn't think about having to drive my partner to the studio where her workshop was being held. Unloading the three suitcases, one box, and one box of supplies. I didn't think about - well, didn't know - that lunch wouldn't be provided so she'd have to go somewhere for lunch and there was nothing nearby and no stores by the time we fought through Friday afternoon traffic which made our drive 90 minutes longer than it should have been. I didn't realize the workshop started an hour later than I thought and ended an hour later than I thought. And then there was the picking her up when the workshop was done. Dinner with our very hospitable and wonderful hostess.

And it was all fine. And it wasn't as kick back as I thought it might be.

However, I did get a lot done in terms of my writing and I'm very happy about that. I aldo learned quite a bit about Scrivener, a software program I've owned for over a year and for which I had the beta Windows version for a while before that. But I've been intimidated by the program and my little dipping of my toes into the Scrivener pool were brief and I ran away.

But with the odd little pieces of time I had this weekend, I decided a really good thing for me to do would be to transfer the memoir into Scrivener. In chapters or sections.

See, the memoir has been in Word; 296 pages in one giant word document. Maneuvering through the pages, looking for sections, entering edits, saving -- it takes so much time and is so bulky. So I thought that setting up a new project in Scrivener, transferring the book into the program in pieces, would be double duty. Which is was.

The first two chapters (sections) took me about 90 minutes. Which was most of my gap between dropping my partner off, returning to the house where we were staying, setting up my laptop, and getting to work. And it was okay. I learned a lot in those 90 minutes and, even though it was a bit tedious and I had to start over and reconfigure and do some research to get it set up how I wanted it to be, it did work. Eventually. And now those 90 minutes see like nothing.

It was great to see my book set up in chapters, some with subsections, on "notecards" on the "corkboard" and see the layout, in order. There is a section I created of outtakes : pieces I've taken out, either chapters or sections, which I like and may put back in or may not. I have a resarch section. I was able to insert "notecard" where I need chapters. I made notes on the "notecards" of information I need to add or whatever, to the chapters.

I was delighted and surprised how much progress I was able to make with the book in this more visual format. There is much to do on the book. Much rewriting. Additions of all kinds and editing of what is there. But it feels much more doable, much more whole.

I also feel like I have only gotten to the basics of Scrivener, but I feel like I understand it now. And I can get to more complex use of it in time.

It feels good to be making progress. *