A while ago, when I decided to get serious about the whole ‘writing a novel’ thing, I found myself debating whether or not to buy Scrivener for my laptop. I had seen it lauded as an incredible tool for writers on a whole host of writing blogs and websites, and was curious to say the least. However, on looking it up online I came to realise that it wasn’t exactly cheap, and I found myself wondering whether or not I really needed some fancy word processor…after all, it wouldn’t magically make me a better writer!
Well I ended up downloading the free trial, and never looked back. No, it won’t magically make you a better writer, but it doesn’t half make your life as a writer a lot easier! Everything you need to write your novel, from your character profiles to your outlines, is at the tip of your fingers, as opposed to scattered across your computer desktop, and that’s just one of the amazing things Scrivener can do for your writing. My full rant about my adoration for the Scrivener software can be seen here, but to cut a long story short, I loved it, and haven’t used Pages or Microsoft Word since.
So you can imagine my excitement when I found out that Scrivener were launching an app that you could sync with your laptop, allowing you to work on your writing projects from your phone! Admittedly, I don’t think it’s to every writer’s taste to embark on any kind of large scale writing using just the tiny touchpad on your phone, but personally I was already an accomplished ‘phone typer’ by the time the Scrivener app launched: I regularly write full blog posts on my phone during my breaks at work, and have done since I started blogging.
However, again it wasn’t cheap, and I found myself dithering over whether or not to buy it…but in the end my love of Scrivener won out, and I remembered how after much wavering last time, it had undoubtedly proven to be worth the money. So I clicked that ‘Buy’ button on the App Store, and yet again, I never looked back.
It wasn’t exactly the easiest thing to set up – I didn’t already have a Dropbox account, so I had to mess about creating one and saving the stuff I wanted from my computer onto it – but it was definitely worth it in the end. I think the only way I successfully completed NaNoWriMo last November was because of the Scrivener app, as I was able to work on my novel during my work breaks and even whilst I was away from my laptop for a few days!
And that’s what I love so much about the Scrivener app – it’s portability, and how I’m now able to work on my novel from anywhere. As so many of us do, I lead a busy life, and so not necessarily having to be at home, sat in front of my laptop to work on my writing has so far been invaluable! It doesn’t have the full range of tools that the full Scrivener software has, as you would expect from an app, but it does the essentials, and most importantly syncs with your laptop, so that you always have an up-to-date version of your writing project with you at all times, in case you get a spare moment to work on it.
It is undoubtedly a luxury item, much like the Scrivener software itself – you certainly don’t need any fancy software to be a writer – but it can be incredibly useful, and I would really recommend it to anyone if it’s within their price range. For the most part, writing is a very cheap hobby (and something a lot of us hope to turn into a career), so personally I don’t mind occasionally investing in some tools that will make the process much easier!
As I’ve said, not everyone would want to write anything longer than a text on their teeny, tiny phone keypad, but if you don’t mind doing that, then it’s so useful for fitting in some impromptu and portable writing!
So do you have Scrivener, either for your laptop or phone? Do you find it useful, or more of a gimmick? Are there any others apps you use to write on the go, or do you have to be at home, sat in front of your computer to write?