Scrivener Learning Curve

In this fast-paced internet world everything seems to go a little faster and we find ourselves wanting to move faster and work faster than what we would normally. This is a story of the valuable lesson I learned by not taking heed to the Scrivener Learning Curve.


I had tested Scrivener out for quite a while and decided I was going to buy it for my writing, since my future books are going to be mystery novels and I wanted something to be able to keep track of details and timelines. Using a regular word processor wasn’t going to do the trick for me.


I took a look at Scrivener’s 300 page tutorial and decided just to skim over it. I’ve worked with enough software to figure it out. Bad, bad, bad mistake.


I took part in NaNoWriMo 2015 and I was determined this year I was going to get to my goal of 50k words and I did make it just a few days before the end of November 2015.


Using Scrivener, I had all of my chapters named, the characters detailed and using the corkboard, I also color coded the chapters as I proofread them for the first time, second time, etc.


I was well on my way to putting my 50k word novel to format and was planning to publish probably early in 2017.


I kind of set my book writing and editing aside for a while to tend to some family issues.


About two weeks ago, I decided to start working on my novel again. I opened up the Scrivener files and everything was “GONE!” I’m thinking “You’ve got to be kidding me. I backed everything up and made sure I had extra copies and even bought an external drive to use for backups.”


I thought, I just pulled up the wrong file. Not to worry, not to worry. Hah, worry turned in to total shock when I realized all or most of the backups I had made were empty and I had lost my 50k word novel, along with a couple of other book ideas I had been working on.


I spent days going over those files, looking in each folder and trying to recover my loss. I did manage to recover about 9k words of my 50k word novel. I may not ever be able to recreate those chapters but I will keep trying.


So you may be thinking, I’m going to steer you away from buying Scrivener for your writing. Nope, just the opposite. I still highly recommend Scrivener for writing with the caveat to actually read the manual and/or look for videos on YouTube so you can learn about “How Scrivener Saves Your Files.”


Scrivener for MAC (aff.)


Scrivener for Windows (aff.)


I also recommend backing up to a cloud storage, like DropBox (aff.) which is free for 16 GB of space and a small monthly fee if you need more room. Do your backups manually or set your Scrivener software to backup to DropBox all of the time. Scrivener does not save as easy and clicking on File and Save which most of us are used to.


If you have any questions about Scrivener or the lesson I learned the hard way, don’t hesitate to ask. I would not want anyone to go through losing so much of their work like I have and unfortunately it’s my own fault. I would like to help prevent that for anyone else.


If you write, do you use some sort of writing software or a word editor by itself? Share with us in the comments section.


Heads UP! I’m working on a new series of books called KayleeAnn’s Mysteries and “yes” I am using Scrivener with special care taken to the backups. They will be somewhat like the old Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mystery books. I loved reading those books and hope that my readers will also enjoy the books I write.


Look for the first one to be out by the end of 2016 or first of 2017.


Scrivener Learning Curve