(Transcript) How I use Scrivener for all of my writing content


Morgan MacDonald : Today I want to talk about Scrivener a little bit, because if you’ve been in the writing world for more about 30 seconds you’ve probably heard the word Scrivener. It is a word processing system that’s, kind of, like Microsoft Word, but way better [laughter]. It allows you to have all of your different thoughts and documents and writings in one interface, so that you can click quickly between them… Hello. Yáll let me know your name. I’m looking at your profile, but… Victor. Hi Victor. Welcome…


So yes. I love Scrivener. I use it, [but] because I’m an editor I ALSO use Microsoft Word, because there’s just no getting away from Microsoft Word. It is industry standard. But Scrivener is what I do all of MY personal writing in before it goes to MY editor, because I ALSO have editor. It’s, kind of, like being a doctor. If you’re a doctor you need other doctors to see. If you’re an editor, you need other editors to see.


I wanted to give you guys a little behind-the-scenes tour. So yesterday we did a look at my Scrivener and how I wrote my book. So if you want to catch that replay go to http://www.paperravenbooks.com/periscope  … Oh, thanks for the hearts,.. Let me flip you guys around so you can see this.


[change of camera view to computer screen]


All right, http://www.paperravenbooks.com/periscope is where I keep all of my Scope Notes. I take notes for you guys and put them there. Then [also] replays and transcripts, so you can always stay up-to-date on the latest Scopes…


Victor ( https://twitter.com/jazvic4 ) : Okay. I have.


Morgan MacDonald : …Oh you have. Good.


[change of camera to face view]


So yesterday we were talking about Scrivener and how I wrote my book. Today I’m going to show you how I do ALL of my content, because for me, when I know I want to start writing I just open up Scrivener and I’m like, “Okay. What am I writing?” [laughter] It’s just the place where my brain dump goes for all of my writing.


I DO want to have just a quick conversation about procrastination [laughter], because as writers we ALL face procrastination all of the time. There are a couple of ways that we tend toward procrastination. Actually there are an INFINITE number of ways that we find ourselves procrastinating… And thanks for the hearts. If you like what you’re hearing, then tap the screen [to] let me know that this is resonating…


Tomas Mtz Monterrey : Hi desde Monterrey, Mexico.


Morgan MacDonald : Hello, from Monterrey, Mexico. Good to have you…


Tools are great, but if we get too wrapped up in the tools then start making excuses like, “Oh! I can’t REALLY start writing this book until I take a course on Scrivener.” False. Not true. Or, “I can’t REALLY start writing until I get a SYSTEM lined out, so that I can capture all of my research and references, and then I’ll start writing.” Also false. Not true [laughter]. You can start writing RIGHT NOW. Yes, really [laughter]


There is ONE way in which Scrivener has helped ME overcome some of that procrastination. I used to be the type of person that really needed a system in order to feel ready to start writing. I love systems, [and] streamlining everything in life [laughter], including writing. Scrivener helped me overcome that, because it allows me a safe place to just dump all of my content, and organize it later. So I have a primary area where I do my writing, and then as a project, kind of, grows beyond my, sort of, writing playground, it gets its OWN Scrivener project.


So yesterday I was showing you my book, which became its own Scrivener project. But the book actually STARTED in this primary area. So let me flip you guys around and show you.


[change of camera view to computer screen]


All right. So this is my Scrivener, I DO use a Mac, so it might look slightly different on Scrivener for Microsoft [Windows}. But I [actually] call my file “primary”, because it is my primary place [for] creating content. It loads up on my desktop, [which] is super messy.


Ani Alexander ( https://twitter.com/Ani_LifeProb ) : … I got it [a] few weeks ago.


Morgan MacDonald : … You got it a few weeks ago! Great! Ani, have you started using it, or are you procrastinating? [laughter]


Okay. So the “binder” is where everything is really stored. So you can see – let me see if I can zoom you guys in so you can see a little bit better, and minimize it so you can see the top level organization…


Ani Alexander ( https://twitter.com/Ani_LifeProb ) : Not yet.


Morgan MacDonald : … Not yet? Well this may get you started… Okay. So I have several main areas of content. One is “blog posts”. The second is “longer writings”, [which] is articles I submit to magazines, or other blogs, [and] I think I even have a couple of manifestos in here. I’m not even sure if I published those [laughter].


Jeanwise ( https://twitter.com/Jeanwise ) : [I] have it too. Not using it either.


Morgan MacDonald : … Jean, you have it too, and you’re not using it. Okay. Well this is your weekend fun project, exploring Scrivener a little bit… “Videos” [is] where I write all of my video scripts and stuff. “Audio” [is] where I draft ideas for [a] podcast, although I have not actually STARTED  podcast – but if I ever DO this is where they will go. And I’m thinking about adding a “Periscope” tab in here. Right now, if you guys have been to my Periscope page you know that I share my Scope Notes through Evernote. So this doesn’t have that sharing capability, but I feel slightly compartmentalized because my Scope Notes are not in here. But that’s okay. We’re rolling with it. Then I do a lot of free writing, and I have a separate folder just for the free writing. So what happens is that I come to Scrivener …


Jeanwise ( https://twitter.com/Jeanwise ) : Good idea [in] adding Scope Notes.


Morgan MacDonald : ..Oh, thanks Jean. Yeah. The Periscope Notes have been super helpful for a lot of people… So I usually start off with free writing.  This is just some of the files that I have in “free writing”. I just go in, add a new document, and just start free writing. Then that usually turns into one of these other categories. It usually turns into a blog post, or an article to be published somewhere else, or a video script, or a potential podcast script. Or now Periscope!


So that’s how everything filters out. Then I get to KEEP TRACK of it. I keep everything archived. So I’ve got “published”, and “rough ideas” – all of them are really long, sorry – and [then] there’s more for guest posts, and then I collaborate with someone on blogs.


So I have them all at the ready, [and] if I ever want to go BACK through something, look how fast this is. Okay. Actually, first, imagine [that] I had each of these as a separate Word document. How long would it take to open every single Word document, let it load, let it kill my computer processor because I have all of these documents open, and then I’m clicking between tabs trying to find what I want.


This is instant. When I click from one title to the next it’s instant. I can search within the ENTIRE binder. If I know that I’ve written something about Periscope I can search for that, and it would pull up the relevant files. So my entire archive of previous writing is here in this binder, and I can search through ALL of it. For me this is really powerful, because I find some of my inspiration for NEW stuff based on OLD stuff. So I’m so glad that I have all of this in one space together.


Then I can ALSO see – let’s say I have a lot of blog posts that I now want to do videos on – I can see very quickly which blogs I still have not covered in video content. So that has been really, really helpful for me. Then I will go ahead and show you [how] when I did enough free writing that I knew it was going to become a book, I then created a little separate file – and if yáll were on yesterday you saw this, so I won’t spend a lot of time [on this] – [file titled] “book”. Super creative, right?      


Ani Alexander ( https://twitter.com/Ani_LifeProb ) : You seem to be very productive.


Morgan MacDonald : … Oh, thanks Ani. It doesn’t always feel like it. But this is my book. I appreciate that. I’m getting better at accepting compliments too [laughter]. Thank you. I appreciate the compliment [laughter]…


This was my book. Super simple layout. I had my free writing up here. I had a rough organization – which was essentially an outline, but very, very rough. [Then] front matter, chapters, appendices. So this was a super simple way to use Scrivener to write a book.And I ONLY do SIMPLE, so it worked for me. Alrighty. Let me flip you back around.


[change of camera to face view]


So that you for the hearts. Thanks you for the comments. Do yáll have any questions about Scrivener or writing. I have just a couple of more minutes. I don’t want to keep you ALL DAY, because as you know, if you have tuned into any of my Periscopes, I do this every day – well every WEEKDAY – during the lunch hour, and the idea is that I give you guys some writing inspiration, and then you go and take your lunch break to do your writing.


Jeanwise ( https://twitter.com/Jeanwise ) : @Johnnie_alexndr. Hey Jonnie.


Morgan MacDonald : …Oh yeah. Thanks for inviting people Jean. I appreciate it… So if you guys THINK of any questions…


Jeanwise ( https://twitter.com/Jeanwise ) : Can you add a copied article?


Morgan MacDonald : …Can you add a copied article?… Yeah. If you are thinking about transitioning stuff from Word into Scrivener I’m SURE there’s a really good way to do that [laughter]. I’m not ENTIRELY sure the BEST way. I know immediately that you can just create new notes and copy and paste the text right over, and I SUSPECT that you can import. Let me research that for you. I do know that there’s an “import files” action [feature].


Ani Alexander ( https://twitter.com/Ani_LifeProb ) :  Would you like to come to my podcast?


Morgan MacDonald : … Ani, would I like to come to your podcast?… I sure would. I LOVE your podcast. Let’s connect on Twitter…


Ani Alexander ( https://twitter.com/Ani_LifeProb ) : Yes you can import!

Morgan MacDonald : Oh, Ani says YES you CAN import… . Yes, Ani, tweet me, and we will connect. That would be awesome… Thanks for the hearts guys. I’ve been doing a lot of podcast interviews lately, and it is so fun. I can’t believe how fun it is to do podcast interviews. And Ani, I should tell you [that] I just did an interview with Jyotsna, your business partner. She’s also super fun, and is ALSO on Periscope.


We need to get all of the Periscope writers together. If you are a writer, and you are watching Periscopes, and you have a Twitter handle, we need to connect all of us. I’ve been added to a list on periscopewriters ( https://twitter.com/PaperRavenEdit/lists/periscopewriters-tribe ), but I don’t see people ACTIVELY Scoping on that list. So we need to figure out a better way to get all of us folks together. My friend Ron Estrada and I have started using the hashtag #periscopewriters ( https://twitter.com/search?src=typd&q=%23periscopewriters ). So if you Scope try to use that hashtag. Or if you have another idea for how to collect all of us writers on Periscope then let’s figure that out. Tweet me.


Jeanwise ( https://twitter.com/Jeanwise ) : Johnnie and I are writers.


Morgan MacDonald : … You and Johnnie are writer. Okay, awesome. Ron and I think it would be cool if we all used hashtag #periscopewriters ( https://twitter.com/search?src=typd&q=%23periscopewriters ), but if you have a different suggestion let me know, and let’s connect on Twitter, and get a list or something going. Because Periscope is AWESOME for writers. Seriously.


Johnnie Alexander ( https://twitter.com/johnnie_alexndr ) : Great idea.


Morgan MacDonald : … Yes Johnnie. Okay. [I’m] glad you guys are down for this.It could be a HUGE game-changer for authors, because we’re SO introverted and used to hiding behind ourselves, yet we publish these books, and then WHO’S going to BUY the books? Periscope is a great way to connect with readers and other authors. So I’m really excited to be exploring this, and would LOVE to explore more with YOU GUYS, who are ALREADY scoping and writing. So that’s our weekend project, figuring out how to get together.


Jeanwise ( https://twitter.com/Jeanwise ) : Yes. I haven’t scoped yet.


Morgan MacDonald : … You haven’t Scoped yet, Jean?… You’ve got to do that. Yes, you did mention that Periscope is a challenge for you, but it’s FUN once you get into it. You’ve just got to let the pressure down, you know? It’s like just having a conversation. I WILL tell you [that on] the first couple of Scopes you MIGHT not get many people in the room [laughter], but that’s okay. Talk anyway. Talk to the one person who joins. Tweet me, and I’ll join. I will join your first Scope, if I’m not taking care of small children who are currently sick. I have two sick kids at home. They’re napping right now. I do probably need to go check on them. So yes, my Friday productivity is a little bit shot. But that’s okay.


So Tweet me, let me know when you’re doing your Scope, and I will be there and watch you and heart you up. Because that’s what we do, right? Supporting each other on Periscope. It’ll be awesome.


Jeanwise ( https://twitter.com/Jeanwise ) : Will do!


Morgan MacDonald : Alrighty. Yes Jean. Hold me to that. Tweet me, right after this. Okay?… Alrighty guys. You know where to go http://www.paperravenbooks.com/periscope , and I will see you later. have a good rest of your day. Bye.   



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