Morning Coffee: Technophobia

RevisionsThe fear or dislike of advanced technology or complex devices. That’s me. I’d prefer things stay the way they are. Don’t fix what’s not broken, that’s what I say. The fear of change is called metathesiophobia. It sounds like there might be a little of that at play here, too. Last week an old friend wanted to talk via video chat. My response was to just use our cell phones. I suspect I will need to give in to this one eventually…but maybe not.

However, I am learning. I know I have to be able to do any PR if I want my book to be published, so I have a Facebook author page, I’m learning to use Twitter to my best advantage, and, of course, I figured out how to set up my WordPress page so I could do this weekly blog. In a couple weeks I’ll attend an event in Eau Claire where Karissa Zastrow will speak on social media for writers.

I’ve taken an even bigger step this week. I’m learning a new software. Scrivener has looked intriguing to me for a while. I received the software for Christmas, and I also bought myself a guide book to supplement the tutorial; still, it has taken me several weeks to actually click on that taunting icon on my desktop.

What was I afraid of? I’m not completely certain. Both the tutorial and the book assure me transferring my work-in-progress (WIP) is only a copy. It will still exist on my hard drive so there’s no risk. Should I mess things up first time around I can delete the new Scrivener project and start over. And, of course, there’s my printed copy and my removable hard drive with the backup copy. So, within the next couple days I WILL take that step and copy my WIP to Scrivener and set it up. I promise.

What is Scrivener? It’s organizational software for writers with templates for novels, stage plays and screenplays, and academic papers. I will be able to write and save in sections so I can shuffle scenes/chapters, make changes in one that affects all the others, split the screen to refer to one chapter while writing another, and then when I’m finished I can compile the sections in any order I wish to save as a whole. I can even format for self-publishing, should I choose that route. I can save all my research and bring that up on one half of the split screen for easy reference. One of my favorite features is the “corkboard” pinned with virtual note cards, one for each character, a brief synopsis, and any notes for the chapter I’m currently working on. No more flipping through scraps of paper or searching through a binder when I need a specific historical reference or can’t remember the color of my hero’s eyes. There are far more features than I will ever need but I have played with the idea of doing a stage play and now have no excuse as Scrivener will automatically format it for me.

There will always be a lot of things I can’t, or won’t want to, do. There are plenty of things out there that have no real purpose other than to time-suck. But every now and then, when needed, I do manage to learn something new.

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