I’ve used Scrivener for three years now as my primary writing tool for fiction. In fact, it’s the only word processing software I have on my current computer. But it wasn’t until earlier this week that I even realized it could be effective for building websites. And wow, is it ever.
Scrivener for Fiction
So year, it has a high learning curve – parabolic, even – and to use it to its maximum potential for fiction requires a lot more work on metadata than I really have patience for. (My lack of patience for metadata and editing in my fiction is probably the single biggest thing holding that career back, but I digress).
I love Scrivener for its functionality, even if I use only a small subset. Organization, switching between windows, metadata (the little bit that I use), outline mode, full-screen distraction-free writing. All good. But it never occurred to me to use it to build my website. At least not until earlier this week.
Scrivener for Entrepreneurs
I was listening to an episode of the Smart Passive Income Podcast* where Pat intervied Joseph Michael, “The Scrivener Coach.” I’m on Jospeh’s mailing list after taking a free online webinar from him and I’ve gotten some good things out of his free training, although it was focused on non-fiction, while my interest at the time was fiction, so I was never interested in moving on to his paid courses. Pat was interviewing him about his business development, becoming the Scrivener Coach, but what interested me was a comment in the introduction where Pat said he used Scrivener to write the content for his websites.
Why didn’t I think of that before? It’s perfect.
I’ve been working on my new website, thebestplacestostudyabroad.com, and my plans were a messy collection of google docs, hand-written notes, and scrawled charts. It was difficult to figure out how I wanted the hierarchy to work and whenever I changed an idea, I had to do a whole lot of messy cut and paste. I was doing my writing directly in a WordPress window, which was messy, hard to follow, and harder to edit.
After listening to that episode, I threw my outline into scrivener as different pages. Wow. Instead of groaning as I sit down to work on the website each day, I pop open Scrivener, I know where I am, and it’s easy to get writing.
I am not getting paid for this post, this is just such an incredible tool and use that I wanted to share it. (But how awesome will it be when I’m famous enough to get paid to endorse the things I gush about anyway?)
*Since I started listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, I have almost completely stopped listening to all the old writing advice podcasts I followed. It’s just so hard to go from Pat’s upbeat style back to writers grousing about how impossible it is to make it in this world. Seriously, even if you’re a writer with no interest in starting a business, accept that writing is entrepreneurship and listen to Pat, just to feel better.
OK. I’m done fanboying. If anyone else has other amazing uses for Scrivener that I haven’t heard of (or that you think I haven’t heard of), please leave them in the comments below. Especially if you’ve figured out how to get it to make sandwiches.