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That Time My 2-Year-Old Daughter Gave Me a Writing Tip in Scrivener

March 18, 2015

Our daughter is in the Terrific/Terrible Twos stage.

The terrible: she does things like write on the new kitchen floor in permanent marker. She leaves tons of tiny fingerprints on the MacBook and almost pushes the TV off its stand because she thinks they are both touch screens. She changes her own diaper and *tries* to flush its contents down the toilet herself. (Okay–this last one isn’t all bad–potty training, here we come!)

The terrific: sometimes, when she presses random keys on the laptop keyboard, instead of making the computer freeze, she discovers new tips. (Far more terrific than that, of course, is the fact that she is an amazing and wonderful human being.)

The other day she saw this little guy in the toolbar when I had Scrivener open for some work I was doing:

 

Scrivener Compose Icon

 

She tried to tap it (no Scrivener for iPad… but soon, I hear!). Then between the two of us, we clicked it and Scrivener went from this view:

 

Scrivener Screenshot

Click or open in new tab to enlarge

 

to this one:

Scrivener Composition Mode

Click or open in new tab to enlarge

 

Yes, Scrivener can go into full screen, but this is something a little different–a composition mode where you can just write. You’ll see at the bottom (a toolbar which goes away if you want it to) that I can still pull up essentials like the footnote window on the left. Or I can move all that out and just focus on writing.

I’ve used Scrivener for more than a year now and don’t think I’ve ever clicked on “Compose.”

So… thank you, two-year-old daughter, for helping your dad learn more about a program he uses all week, and for simplifying my workflow!

Want to check Scrivener out? (I recommend it, and offer my thanks to the folks that make it for the review license.) Here you can download a free trial, for Mac or Windows. (It’s a generous trial period, too.) You can read more about Scrivener’s features here.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2015 2:01 pm

    Nice. I’ve been using Scrivener, based on your recommendation. My daughter hasn’t been much help with it so far, but you know, she’s only 1.

    • March 19, 2015 9:45 pm

      Hey, glad to hear it! Would love to hear more about how you’re using it, or see a screenshot or something.

      No doubt your little one will be banging out children’s books on Scrivener (or banging your computer with children’s books) in no time!

  2. May 18, 2015 6:55 am

    I must think like a two year old. The first time I opened Scrivener, I had to click on all the icons and see what they did. So been using Compose since the first day. It changes things in a very nice way.

  3. May 18, 2015 11:50 am

    After getting a discount because of getting through NaNoWriMo in 2014, I’m finally getting to grips with Scrivener and loving it. I’m using it to work through my writing process, to make sure I’m covering all the things I need to do – using the split screen is so helpful with this. I can have the page I’m working on, and on the other half of the screen, my reminders of what I want to include.

    • May 18, 2015 12:48 pm

      Agreed–I love the split screen. I’ve also found the Project Notes (and other parts of the Inspector) give me a third or fourth spot to store outlines, key reference material, synopses, etc.

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