First, there was Microsoft Word. I’d just left the corporate world, and I had no idea that any other writing applications existed. Then, I went to Storyist. I left it, I forget why. From there, I made the big jump to the Don, the big boy. Scrivener.

Scrivener is the archetypal sledgehammer for a nut. It does everything. It does way more than I do. It’s the perfect tool for writing procrastination. It is an excellent application, equipped for every eventuality. It’s also entirely proprietary, an entire eco-system of its own.

Given that I release the novel scene by scene to Members of this website, I write the scene in Scrivener and copy paste it into my website, not exactly making use of the app’s superpowers. However, once the damned thing is finished, then Scriv will spit out manuscripts in every format known to man.

That said, I did once switch into Ulysses for long form writing too. The secret to doing so is a chap called Matt Gemmell, who coincidentally writes excellent eco-tech thrillers - go buy one or two immediately. Matt wrote several posts for the Ulysses webpage laying out how he structured Ulysses to be a minimalist Scrivener.

I’m not sure I have the mental fortitude to export everything from Scriv to Ulysses again, but novel 2, if there is one, will, I think, be born in Ulysses. Good old fashioned Markdown files on my hard drive again.


It’s off my chest. Flouncy has flounced off. Notes, blogs posts, novels all need a plain, simple interface. No clutter. If you give me lots of settings to tweak, then I will. Anything to avoid writing. After a week of power flouncing, gritting of teeth, pulling of hair and wailing inconsolably, I’ve whipped off two thousand words in a couple of hours this afternoon.

Don’t think you’re getting off scot free though. Although I’ve answered the questions I posed about writing - I still need to address task management, time blocking, journaling and working. I know. Try to restrain your excitement.

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