Discovering Scrivener: a tool for writers

Updated Mar 27, 2012

I learned today that the landscape along US-95 south of Tonopah, Nev., is peppered with thousands of Joshua trees. Learned by seeing them.

I also learned how to write a book. Learned by Googling “how to write a book.” And I learned about Scrivener software. Learned by reading book author recommendations of this content-generation (book writing) tool and then downloading the free trial version.

Diane and I woke up this morning in a retail area in Las Vegas, Nev. We spent the night there waiting to pick up freight this morning. The pick up went well and we were soon on our way. The delivery is tomorrow morning in Reno, about eight hours of driving time away. That gives us an easy run through some of my favorite country in the nation. It is open, pristine and peaceful.

We have been up and down U.S. 95 between Las Vegas and Reno several times but mostly at night. The Joshua trees were a daytime surprise and fun to see.

• I mentioned yesterday my decision to write a book. Searching Google about how to write a book was encouraging. Many people, including published authors and literary agents, have written a great deal on this topic, with much of the material being redundant. Encouragement came because it is clear that I am much further along than some newbie with a book idea. Nevertheless it could be two years or more before the book sees the light of day.

• Today was one of good’s and bad’s. In addition to the other goods, today’s shipper made our day when he asked if your truck was brand new. The truck is almost six years old and the man mistakes it for new. Granted, he does not have a trucker’s eye but it was still nice to hear.

The bad was an incident on the road. Diane was driving on a two-lane stretch of U.S. 95 when an oncoming big rig pulled out to pass a car. He ended up forcing the car and Diane onto the shoulders to avoid a deadly crash. To top things off, the driver flipped the bird as he passed.

I’ve said it before. A downside of this business is that you are never more than the very next instant away from a wreck that may end or alter your life forever.

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• So as to not give away our location while under load, today’s blog post will be delayed until the freight is off the truck. We will spend the night in Reno, deliver tomorrow morning and see where, if anywhere, the freight takes us next.

UPDATE: We arrived at the Reno TA around sunset and will spend the night here. About that Scrivener software … I watched this instructional video and am very impressed. This tool will change my life for the better.

I have written lots of stuff over the years; nearly 6,000 posts in the Open Forum, close to five years worth of daily blog entries like this one, I don’t know how many articles for Expedite NOW and other trucking magazines, and more articles beyond that that were started but never finished.

Now that I have begun work on a book, there is more writing to do. The big question is, how do I manage that much content? What’s out there that will help me pull it all together into a book?

Answer: Scrivener. It’s exactly the tool I need to organize my material for the book. It is an even better tool for my Operation Streamline. I have years and years of disorganized crap on my computer. The reason it remains disorganized is that I knew of no tool, until now, that made it easy to organize it. Scrivener changes that.

I hang on to these documents because they are not really crap. Many of them have value, if only they were were organized and accessible. Scrivener is exactly the tool I need to bring order to this chaos.

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