SoMe, Writing Life

Cutting Edge or Late Adopter?

Which are you?

My name is Jo-Ann and I have something to confess. I used to be “cutting edge.”QUALITY

You know one of those annoying individuals who focuses on becoming the first to show off to the world a new technology or idea, believing it to be, “…the leading position….” (as defined in the Webster’s dictionary,)

This mind-set ran through my life like vinegar down a drain. Whether it was how to tie an Italian silk scarf, which laptop I bought or a new teaching strategy, my methodology remained the same, as if an ogre whispered in my ear, “Be the first.”

And it was fun. It’s exciting to cut at the edge of something new.

280px-Osborne_1_openBut, I got burned. For example: In the early eighties we bought an Osborne, one of the first portable computers. It had a 5 inch screen and a whopping 64 K. It used things called “floppies.” Big stuff in those days. We liked it so much we became official dealers for it. But the Osborne guys went bankrupt, and so did our zeal.

At work, I put my heart into implementing the “Whole Language” program into my classroom, only to watch the government legislate it, the parents revolt and then the government flip-flop. Of course I never threw away any of the old phonics oriented programs, because they work, but I didn’t like being roasted by the public for trying new ideas.

And then there were the suede hot-pants. Remember them? And the fluorescent shoelaces and leg warmers?  Enough said.

I could go on. Don’t even get me started on software. My love for being “cutting edge” has waned.

So now I’m a “Late Adopter.”  I like to wait (particularly with software) until the initial kinks are smoothed out and then I jump into the fray with everyone else.

Scrivener

Which brings me to Scrivener, a word processing software designed for writers. I’ve been hearing about it ever since I started writing seriously two years ago. It can do amazing things, but nothing that I don’t already do using other programs (i.e., One Note and Word). The advantage with Scrivener is that all the processes involved with a first draft (i.e., brainstorming, keeping research notes, story boarding, collecting pics and internet links, writing…) would be in one place. I like that. It also makes shuffling chapters easy. So I’ve been thinking about it for some time.

Then one of the writer loops I’m on (i.e., Guppies, Sisters in Crime) started talking about it and they sold me. I’ve downloaded the free trial and signed up for an intensive course with Gwen Hernandez which starts today. She’s considered an expert on the program, gives courses regularly and has written the book Scrivener for Dummies.

At this point I’m a dummy and a late adopter. I hope that it doesn’t end up being–just more work. I’ll let you know.

So how about you? Any cutting edge experiences you’d like to share? Opinions on Scrivener?

14 thoughts on “Cutting Edge or Late Adopter?

    1. Hi Joanne
      I’m excited about it. The course takes 1/2 to 1 hour a day, so I should know something by the end of it (lol). I’ll let you know what I think.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
      Best Wishes
      Jo-Ann

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  1. I feel like I’m doing quite well with Word, but I”ll be interested to hear what you think. I have tried a number of writing systems and always feel that the writing screen is too small and they demand I enter too much information which possible I do need but am too impatient to input. Would my writing be better if I followed all the steps? Maybe.

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    1. Hi Judy
      I know what you mean. A big part of me doesn’t want to change my word processing habits. I’ve got enough on my mind. But the long list of good things I keep hearing about this software keeps pulling at me.
      I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
      Best
      Jo-Ann

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  2. Interesting post, Jo-Ann. No part of me is innovative or dying to get on the bandwagon when it goes by the first time. I’m dragged kicking and screaming into any kind of change. 🙂 DH has learned over the years to give me as much heads up time as possible when plans are about to change.
    Now as to Scrivener, I too have heard of it. Gwen is on another blog I follow. I hear her book is super and so is the course. I think it will be like everything else in writing. If it works for you, great. If not, it’s okay. There’s something else out there. I will wait expectantly to hear your take on the program. Good luck with the course.

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    1. Hi Marsha
      Thanks. I’ll keep you posted.
      I like the image of your husband wisely knowing to give you lead time. You gotta love us old couples. We fit like old leather moccasins, worn in all the right places.
      Thanks for visiting.
      Best
      Jo-Ann

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  3. I’m a dinosaur. I really don’t like change – especially when it comes to computer related things. But I am very interested in Scrivener because it sounds as if it could really help me organize longer stories. I remember with pain the time I wove a subplot into a finished full length historical. It was so hard to navigate the unwieldy manuscript that I’ve only written novellas since. I really want to write ‘long’ but shudder at the thought. I’m very glad that you are being the pioneer here, Jo-Ann. I will wait safely ‘back east’ for news from the Wild West.

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    1. Hi Helena
      I’m one week into the four weeks of instruction now. It’s not magical, but useful and I’ve purchased my own copy. I’m not sure that you would like it though. We’ll chat.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
      Best
      Jo-Ann

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