It’s finally here, and yet we’re still forced to put on warm hoodies and jackets and keep the furnace running just a bit more than we’d prefer. I keep telling myself that it’s only a matter of time before I can ditch the long pants and long-sleeve shirts and don the “summer togs”—shorts and tee shirt! Oh, for those wonderful mornings when I can sit on our deck, warmed by the rising sun, and enjoy that first cup of hot coffee and listen to the calm and peace of a new day beginning!
Reaching April also marks the end of my recent experience in taking an online course titled Scrivener for Mac. As I’ve written about in other posts, Scrivener is a wonderful program that provides writers of all walks of life various tools and means to generate their work. When the course began on Tuesday, February 19, I was quite unsure as to exactly where this would take me. I had made up my mind that I wanted to do everything I could to “master” Scrivener so I could put it to work for my many WIPs (works in progress) and to be comfortable in most of its powerful components.
And now that all of the lessons, tutorials, Live Class presentations by instructor Gwen Hernandez, and questions and comments from students have come to an end, I must say that there is a distinct feeling of emptiness hanging around. The emptiness is not about the material covered in the class, but rather in the void that now exists because the class has ended! Call me sentimental, or whatever, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed these days and weeks since February 19!
My morning routine of downloading the day’s lesson and working through it, hot coffee steaming at the ready nearby, was something of which I’d grown very fond these past several weeks. Not only was it an ongoing process of putting the individual pieces of Scrivener together to see how the whole of the program functions, but it was also a fun challenge to finally grasp a concept or how to do something I’d not known how to do previously.
We were led by Gwen Hernandez, author of Scrivener for Dummies (Wiley, 2012). Before I’d taken the class, I had purchased the book and found it very good in helping with many of the trickier and more complex features of Scrivener. The book became even more valuable as a reference during the progression of the class. I return to it often for various answers to questions that crop up as I work on my current novel.
During the run of the class, Gwen provided clear explanations and answers to our many questions and comments, always with a wonderful sense of humor and lightness that made things very comfortable from the onset. The same tone pervades the book as well. Anyone who is serious about learning and using Scrivener needs to own the book. Also,taking the class—for Mac or Windows—is a terrific idea.
Along the way, too, were many fellow “travelers” very much with the same questions and goals as I had. And though we really have never met, my fellow Scrivener friends and I seemed to develop a sort of camaraderie that seems to occur in groups which are focused on the same goals and outcomes, regardless of each others’ experience or published status. I believe that is a direct result of a caring and competent instructor. Even with some of the technological glitches that cropped up from time to time, I still had a worthwhile time of it all. For a month or so, we were all on equal footing, wending our way through the world that is Scrivener.
Whenever I fire up Scrivener to get to work on my writing project, I will often wonder what my fellow travelers are up to and how their own various writing projects are proceeding. I will look for their names along the way in blog posts or book lists of recently published items and wonder if they will ever do the same themselves.
Now that the protective shell of our Scrivener class is closing, it’s time for us to stretch and flap our wings and fly. I know I can do so now, confident that Gwen and my fellow travelers have helped me to do so. And all these weeks later, since the course commenced, I know that my writing will be much better and headed in the right direction, with Scrivener helping me get there! I shall miss all my fellow “travelers” just the same...CortlandWriter