Diary of a freelance writer, 14 October 2015

scrivenerHow has the past week been for you? I’ve had a much easier time of it, pressure-wise. Having just completed several heavy or urgent edits on the trot, I’ve done what I had to but then had a bit of a rest. NaNo prep has been taking up much of my time, I’m very pleased to say.

Wednesday
Wednesday was the second day of proper prep work for my NaNo last week. I’d already written some character notes for 2 potential projects the day before, and on Wednesday I made some notes for settings, again on both projects. I also wrote another half a scene for CATCH THE RAINBOW, and I did some book publicity work on social media. I tidied up some loose ends on the edit I’d just finished, following replies from the author, and sent that off to print.

Thursday
The first writing job of the day on Thursday was the second half of that scene for CATCH THE RAINBOW. Then I did some more NaNo prep work, this time jotting down plot notes for both projects. I printed off the next editing project and put it in my editing folder, but that’s about all.

Friday
Friday was pretty much an admin day, raising invoices (hurrah!), chasing invoices (boo!), being paid immediately for one of the chased invoices (hurrah!), and being promised another by yesterday (hurrah!).

Weekend
The weekend was basically domestic stuff. We were expecting visitors, the poet’s band was playing, and we had cooking stuff to do, which we did on Sunday. We didn’t have any research trips this weekend.

Monday
For some reason, Monday was a bit of a non-starter for me this week, when it’s usually my most positive and productive day. I think it’s because I was watching traffic. The poet was on his way down to the Midlands, and later I found out my sister was stuck on the Chunnel. There were also accidents all over the motorway network on Monday. A wasted day, workwise.

Tuesday
Tuesday was better with me thinking about more NaNo prep work, and that promised payment duly arrived (hurrah!). Then I did something I never thought I’d ever do. I bought and paid for some writing software …

Scrivener
Friends have been banging on about Scrivener to me for yonks, but with me already paying out for Word, and with me downloading and being disappointed with several other writing software packages that were free, I’d always vowed I’d never pay extra for writing software. But yesterday, I can’t even remember why – perhaps someone had posted something on Facebook …

Ah yes, that was it. A FB friend had posted a link to this Scrivener-related blog and I read it with interest. The fact that I didn’t only read the first paragraph and then navigate away from it but instead read all the way to the bottom spoke volumes to me. And so I did some research and found out it was on special offer at TNW Deals. So then I went off to have a look at what it can do. And I asked a few questions. And I ended up back at TNW Deals, where I discovered that, aside from the 56% discount they were already applying to Scrivener 2, they were also offering a further 10% new customer special discount.

Reader, I bought it.

And that “expensive” writing software I’ve always shied away from cost me just over £15 (apx $22) with conversion fees.

I spent the rest of the day finding my way around it, asking questions, playing with the features, watching tutorials. Even the poet had a go, both in his dinner break and when he got home at the end of the day. He said it’s a very good business project tool, so for the business manager to say that … I loaded it onto my notebook/switch too (as one personal licence covers multiple devices in the same household).

One of the things I like about it, apart from everything being in just one place, is that there are templates that can be used for different types of fiction, different lengths of fiction, and non-fiction projects, theses and scripts too. I’m going to have some fun exploring everything it can do.

I do have some niggles, but at the moment they’re only that the Windows version, which I bought, doesn’t yet have all of the same features as the Mac version (separate licences available). I loaded the NaNo prep work I’ve been working on for both projects, took the notebook/switch to bed, pretty much decided which project I’m going with and did some work on that. I managed 270 words too. Result!

Homework
Your homework this week, then, should you wish to partake, is as follows:

  1. If you don’t already use writing software, research some free resources here and see if there are any that tickle your fancy.
  2. Push the boat out and treat yourself to some paid-for software – I don’t usually use it so can’t really recommend any, but do an internet search and see what you come up with.
  3. Whether you download a free package or buy a premium package, start to fill in your ideas and notes for NaNo, if you’re doing it, or something else if you’re not.

Don’t forget to let us know.

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4 thoughts on “Diary of a freelance writer, 14 October 2015

  1. That’s really interesting. I’m aware I could do with something and have read mixed reports about Scrivener – hate it/love it. Being a bit of a technophobe I’m not sure I could cope with it. Be interested to know how you get on and whether you REALLY do USE it!
    Good luck

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    1. I’ve been using it all day! And I’ve written 1,223 words on it. I’ve set up my project “binder”, with all the Acts (3), Chapters (12), Scenes (102), Plot Summary, Character Notes. I really am loving it at the moment.

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