Cart before the horse?
Call this the week of my journey into parts unknown and unfamiliar, and, quite frankly, I’m finding it all just a bit uncomfortable. For example, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get comfortable with Scrivener, that writing program that seems to include way too much stuff for my comprehension. Even the Scrivener for Dummies book has caused me some serious pauses and gnashing of teeth during these past several days—and late nights!
Writing this post now in Scrivener notwithstanding, I have not reached a true comfort level so that when I open the program I feel that I am in control and that my current masterpiece is just waiting to unfold before me on the Scrivener screen. Alas, that hasn’t happened yet, and what’s more frustrating than merely not knowing how things really work is that right when I figure I’ve grasped a concept (the Binder hierarchy, for example) something doesn’t quite jibe with the words in the book or the various other sources I’ve located, read, and tried to adapt for my own personal needs. Thus, I find myself backtracking way too far—and too often—in my opinion.
Through it all, however, I keep reminding myself that I’m going to be taking a 6-week online course about all things Scrivener beginning in a couple of weeks, taught by a kind lady who is regarded as an expert on the thing. In fact, she’s the author of the Dummies book I have perched inches away from me on my writing desk.
I also discovered a free program called GIMP that looked as though it would be perfect for designing my own book covers—ePub editions, especially. Of course things were moving along swimmingly as I worked through part one of a very nice tutorial, but then things began to get gummed up, and my progress halted. It was one of those casual begin-it-in-late afternoon-and-end-up-very-frustrated-very-late-at-night occasions! I eventually began to realize that I was trying to follow instructions for PC systems instead of my Mac OSX. And so I returned to the download’s page and noticed another version for the Mac and downloaded that one. Now, though, nothing really looked like the stuff on the tutorial, so I decided I’d be much better off returning to my quest to learn the basics of Scrivener and worry about cover design and art at a more appropriate time.
It has been my experience that I tend to put the cart before the horse way too soon—and often—and have to deal with my mounting frustration over and over. Once I’m ensconced thoroughly in the flow of the course, I know that I will look back and realize what a fool I am to worry about things that are so simple and that will be explained beautifully through the duration of the course. At least I’m hoping that’s what happens.
Perhaps it is time now to re-fill my coffee cup, take a deep breath, and put the horse and cart back in the barn and allow things to happen as they’re meant to.…CortlandWriter