I don’t think my third time trying Scrivener has worked out after all. If I’m right— and I fear that this one time that I was so sure I could make it work that I actually paid for it is, in fact, another bust —it’s because of one thing. That thing is that I can’t set the margins the way I like. And yes, that’s a deal breaker for a program I otherwise think I could learn to use despite the overabundance of bells, whistles, meta and gewgaws I would never use.

I like being able to reorder scenes by dragging them and to have a place for side notes. That’s incredibly useful and frankly cool for someone who grew up using note cards and tape. OK, to back up for a sec, I still use note cards and tape sometimes. The dragging on screen could be life-changing. It may not be though.

I’ve had a lot of word processor adventures and misadventures over the years. I think spent at least a year on at least five different programs, and that’s not counting flings, experiments and ragey notebooking in general.

I actually spent a very long time working out of Adobe Buzzword after I decided that Word was not for me. Not that there’s anything wrong with Word in and of itself. It’s perfectly fine for whipping up documents that need to look pretty. I actually really like the draft view too. But manuscripts don’t need to look pretty. They need to look like manuscripts. That’s part of the reason I don’t understand the mentality of some writers when it comes to endlessly screwing around with the fonts in their working documents. You’re going to put it in Courier anyway. Pick the serif or sans serif you can live with and get on with the jetpack rabbits already.

Hence, the rise of the minimalist, pro-focus word processor. Honestly, I don’t think Adobe Buzzword was meant to be that, but I could set it to the sans serif local font and go. Everything was right there on the servers when I needed it… in fact, it still was until recently. Anyway, I tried a bunch of minimalist programs myself after Buzzword stopped being useful. One wouldn’t start, one ate my line breaks, one I couldn’t paste into. It was a shit show. I thought about getting an AlphaSmart, but LCD displays are not my jam. Hell, I thought about getting a typewriter.

Instead, I got Scrivener and swore I’d learn something new. I’d be more productive.

I was not more productive. I wasted about three hours reading reading tutorials by people who were more concerned with their binder colors than the actual content of their novels. In other words, with wasting time instead of writing.

I resorted to loading an extension in my browser— there is such a thing as a browser extension that functions as a minimalist word processor —but that looked so much like the awful drafting window in Scrivener that I uninstalled it forthwith.

I just want to make words. I want them to stay where I put them. I would also appreciate them not exploding while they are there. I wondered though, could I even have that?

So far so good with Write!. It’s quiet as fuck in here.

I have the thing, so there’s no reason for me not to learn Scrivener, but I see a lot of copy and paste work in my future novels because, surprise surprise, my attempt to make things less complicated now has me operating out of three programs instead of one.

But it’s finally quiet as fuck.