My earliest experiences behind the wheel of a car may have something to do with my present-day reaction to Scrivener.
Sound far-fetched? Maybe it is.
But my temporary justification for giving up on driving is eerily similar to the way I bailed from two consecutive, unfinished 30-day free trials of Scrivener.
Even though training programs exist – for driving and for Scrivener.
I dismissed those options at first, thinking, “Oh, well, we can’t afford that, anyway. And I can live without driving.” I can write without Scrivener, too, but if every die-hard Scrivener fan I’ve read is correct, Scrivener – like driving – could make the writing life a whole lot easier. Once I learned my way around it, anyway.
Let me give you a clearer picture of why I decided I didn’t need a driver’s license – until I did.
I was in my early twenties and still dependent on others to get to places I couldn’t walk to. I’d gone on a few driving lessons with my dad, but sometime in my mid-twenties, I told myself, “This just isn’t for me.”
At the time, I thought, “Some people (like me) just shouldn’t drive. Cars are made for people who are better at multi-tasking – people who don’t get overwhelmed by all the things they need to keep track of while driving.”
“My brain and driving… they just don’t mix.”
As much as I wanted to excuse myself from learning to drive, I couldn’t quite convince myself that I could never be a decent driver.
There was always that voice in the back of my mind that said, “Maybe you can afford to think that, now, but someday . . . someday, you might change your mind. Because you’re not mentally incapable of learning to drive. Yes, it’s overwhelming. Yes, it feels like TOO MUCH, especially when your dad is your driving instructor. But you can learn.”
And I did.
I was thirty years old when my husband and I found the house we wanted to buy for our growing family, and I had to face the reality that I couldn’t just expect my husband to drive me everywhere I needed to go — after a day of driving around for his job. No public transit buses would pick me up anywhere within easy walking distance of this house.
I could no longer put it off. If I wanted this house, I would have to get my driver’s license.
So, I started driving lessons with someone a friend recommended to us. About a month later, I took a behind-the-wheel driving test. And I passed.
I told my parents of my success, and my dad said something I’ve never forgotten. He said he knew I’d get my driver’s license when I wanted it badly enough.
We’d found a house that had everything my husband wanted in a home. It had a big back yard, a lake in the back (not a very deep one, but still a lake), and enough rooms to allow him a private at-home office. The low price (relative to metro-area houses with the same square footage) and low property taxes cinched the deal.
By then, I was already warming to the idea of being able to drive myself anywhere I needed to go, whether it was for grocery shopping, driving kids to and from school, or checking out local garage sales.
When we found the house, I found it easy to tell myself with conviction that I now needed to get my driver’s license. So, I went and got it. I was surprised at how little time it took.
I’ve written before of my two attempts to get acquainted with Scrivener with the 30-day free trial period. Both times, I bailed early, thinking, “My brain and Scrivener just don’t get along. This just isn’t going to work for me.”
And again, in the back of my mind, I was asking myself, “Are you sure? Or are you just telling yourself that to give yourself permission to quit?”
I’m not saying I’m a Scrivener convert. I’m still not sure it’ll work for me. But I’m not ruling out the possibility that I’ll love it someday. I might put aside my reservations and learn it during my third experiment with the 30-day free trial.
But not until I want to badly enough.
It helps, though, that I’ve become – over the past months – an unabashed fan of Evernote. I even upgraded to Evernote Plus, which costs $2.99 a month (a bargain, since I can play with it even when outside the range of our WiFi).
It may just be another step toward greater openness to Scrivener. I started using Evernote and found that the notes grouped into binders, which were grouped into stacks, didn’t freak me out. No panic attacks. No inexplicable need to curl up on my chair and wrap my arms around myself – or to take deep, relaxing breaths.
Quite the contrary. And it got me thinking. Maybe Scrivener wasn’t, as I’d called it before, “the Lamaze of writing programs” (and, yes, I meant that in a negative way; that Lamaze video from the library did not have the intended effect).
Maybe Scrivener and my brain could learn to get along, after all. Maybe.
Time will tell.
What about you? Do you use Scrivener, and, if so, did it take you a while to warm up to it?
You know I love to read your comments, so if you have the time, share your thoughts with me below. And thank you for taking the time to read this.
Take care, and have a great rest of your week. 🙂