Monday, July 7, 2014

A Functional Office


I've finally settled down into my office, but have yet to establish a writing routine. Life keeps getting in the way, and I think the only way for me to accomplish anything is to "force" myself to lock myself away from it all behind the sanctuary of a closed door. It took me a while to make my office functional, but I think I'm finally at the point where I have no more excuses.

The Reading Chair, aka, Bella's chair

The view from the Reading Chair

It's a small office, but now that I've thrown out the old and brought in the new, I really love it.


The star is that desk. Just look at that baby. Once I got rid of the moths in it, yes, moths, I lovingly polished and cleaned it. It's about twice the size of my old one, which was a kiddie desk. Look at the top of it, it's huge. And as if that wasn't enough, there's two pull outs above each top side drawer. They really come in handy. The drawers are so deep and long I was able to fit most of the files I had piled all around my office, my technical equipment, and office supplies, and I still have room. My legs fit easily underneath and I can't even reach the back wall when I stretch out. When Bella's scared she'll curl up under it and there's so much room she doesn't bother me at all.

So, now that I have the desk, the next piece of functional equipment is the MacBook. How have I adjusted from PC to Mac? Wonderfully! I love it. It took me a little bit of getting used to it and now I'm not so "afraid." One thing that's really helped is watching the videos from PC Classes On-line. David Cox has really helped with the transition and I highly recommend checking them out, even if you're not a newbie like me. I'm sure there are some tips that will help you.


Okay, so I have the office, the desk, the MacBook. Now that I was comfortable enough with the Mac I decided I needed to add a functional word processing program to the mix. Although my first inclination was to buy Microsoft's Word, I did a little more research and spoke to a couple of other writers who use a program called Scrivener. It's really more than a word processor, and it only cost me $24.99. With this program I am able to "outline, edit, storyboard and write" as their tagline claims. At first it was daunting. I watched a couple of Youtube videos and read the entire on-line manual. I was still unsure, but once I jumped in and began applying what I learned into practice I am happy to report, I love it!

As you may or may not know, I've been researching my current work in process for years, yes, years. During that time I've accumulated so much data, which in turn became notes, that it has almost become unmanageable. Frankly, it was overwhelming and I think one of the reasons I kept procrastinating. Now that I've begun using Scrivener I don't feel so out of control. I've been able to take those notes from my real cork board and place them in a virtual cork board instead. I am able to create character sheets, research notes, and time-lines which I can simply reference with one click instead of having to shuffle through pages and pages of "stuff." I'm now able to edit before I even write, and I don't have to be so concerned about duplicating either.


Rather than worry about going from point A to B to C, with the way the program is designed I can now write whatever chapter I want and move it around later on. Since my book starts from the late 1700's up through the present day, I can separate each "era" as a chapter and each character or event as a scene in that chapter. For instance, I've got everything set up and organized for the 1763 tale and can now begin writing it. Once that draft is done, I can "forget about it" and focus on compiling everything for the 1800 one, and work my way up through each era. After everything is written I should be able to "compile" all the chapters into different formats including eBooks and print books. I'm nowhere near that point and I'm sure I will be watching more Youtube videos when I eventually get there.

Anyway, that's what I've been up to. My office is functional...let's hope I am too!

By the way, although I am not blogging as much as I have in the past, I have not abandoned it, so I hope you stick around.



1 comment:

  1. YouTube videos are a godsend! I love David A. Cox's video tutorials for the Mac.

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