Xeno Hemlock


Scrivener Superpowers (Book Review)

Amateurs struggle to keep things the same, while pros embrace change at all levels and learn to thrive on it.
— Steve Siebold


The quote above rang like a lunch time bell while I reread Steve Siebold's 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class. Ouch! For many years, I settled for the comfort of Amateur Land where I stuck with the linear paradigm of writing through the use of Microsoft Word. One document, a stream of pages. Word and I go all the way back to my high school years when the personal computer was becoming popular and typing on a blank Word document was as exciting as opening a box of a new iPhone today. That's why for the past two years since my writing career started, I remained deaf to all mentions of Scrivener by other authors and writers on the Internet until the end of last year. Scrivener went on sale and I took advantage of the savings.

But old habits and ancient fears die hard. One glance at Scrivener's UI intimidated me enough to quit it and go back to the arms of a linear writing software instead. Rearranging outlines and mentally writing ideas in my head consumes energy. I didn't want to use more of that energy into learning a new, and what seemed to be, a complicated software.

M.G. Herron's new book Scrivener Superpowers enters the pictures and saves the day.

What follows below is a list of the book's own superpowers.

  1. It is very newbie-friendly. The step-by-step guide familiarizes you with every part of Scrivener's anatomy. The icons and panels that used to scare me turned from a Hungarian Horntail to a cuddly Jigglypuff ready for an embrace.  
  2. It's not a book version of Scrivener only. Multiple interviews with authors who found success with Scrivener are in the book, proof that the software serves different purposes with one common goal - make the writer's writing life easier. Herron also offers modified Scrivener templates in the book, further evidence that Scrivener is not just a what-you-see-is-what-you-get tool. It can offer you flexibility in exchange for your creativity.
  3. It gives you free writing lessons. Scrivener Superpowers is not a technical and impersonal guide. It explains the software's features to you in the context of writing. The book does not just teach you how to open a project or create annotations, it also teaches you how to best use the available tools to enhance your writing.

I want to ask the book, "Where were you in the last two years?" Definitely not on the tips of my fingers.

Scrivener Superpowers has busted my misconception on Scrivener. Now I feel no fear and intimidation, only excitement and possibilities. 

Tomorrow, I begin a new draft with Scrivener. No more linear style of writing. I'm grateful this book crossed my path. And the sale, never forget that too. Always be thankful for the sale.


Scrivener Superpowers is on Amazon.