Scrivener motivation...

Writing has been tough going recently. It's not that I don't still love what I'm writing... I do. I just haven't been able to sit down and write as much as I would like, because my father's in hospital. Even when I have been able to sit down and write, I've been tired (and worried and upset) and writing hasn't always flowed well.

Until recently (when he got transferred to a hospital closer to Mum), taking my Mum to visit him involved a 50-mile round trip and at least 4-5 hours out of my day. The Rest of Life™ had to fit into the time remaining, squeezing writing into ever smaller portions of time. I blogged a couple of weeks ago about how I was managing to get some stuff done, even if I had fairly tiny windows to work in That was working well for scene planning and background research and so on, but perhaps less well for writing a whole scene. And then when I did get a chunk of time to write in, my focus wasn't always great.

But, I finally discovered that the session target feature in Scrivener could stay as a floating window as I wrote.

The screenshot is from a couple of weeks ago, and so the overall target is a little more complete now, but the sight of the lower bar turning from red to orange to yellow to green has been incredibly motivating! I've been setting myself a target of 1000 words on a visiting day (more on the few non-visiting days in the week) and there have been days when I was sure I wouldn't get to it (because I'd slept in, started late and had a really short time to go before I was due to collect Mum) and yet I still managed to creep over the target.

If you have the Microsoft version of Scrivener, you can find this feature under Project (apologies for wonky highlighter!):

Click on Project Targets, then choose the length of your ms (or leave it blank) and how much you want to achieve in your session. You can then drag the box to somewhere unobtrusive (I stuff it in the top right-hand corner usually), click back in the document you're working on in Scrivener and type away. The word count ticks up as you write (and yes, goes into negative figures if you delete more than you write!) and the bar changes colour and goes green when the target is reached. I don't have the Mac version, but I suspect it's in the same place. Incidentally, does anyone know why the ms total in that box is different from the ms total when you click on Project Statistics? The target box says the ms is 51308, but when I do the word count via Project Statistics, it says it's 51477. Just curious!

Those of you who've been using Scrivener for years probably discovered this yonks ago. I knew that you could set a session target (and have frequently used the document target - click on the target symbol at the foot of a document to call that up), but hadn't realised that the target window would stay open if I just clicked back in the area I'd been working on.

Has anyone got any other great Scrivener tips to share?