Writing In Public: Year 1, Month 1, Day 4

Simplifying … again

Writing these posts is annoying. My usual writing is done in Org mode in Emacs, which I love. These posts are in WordPress, which means writing in a different format, lots of pesky limitations, and the need to be online to write posts or maintain the site, which is particularly annoying considering how flaky my Internet connection is. What’s more, posting different types of content is awkward at best in WordPress, and the more I do that, the more it exacerbates the problem of having my main writing in a different format. Furthermore, content seems to fall into a black hole after a while on a WordPress site. Old posts are hard to find. I try, but it feels like a nice suit that just won’t fit me.

I solved almost all the problems of content arrangement and presentation with my custom static site before, but a few problems remained: I had no good way of creating an RSS or Atom feed for my weblog, I couldn’t capture a list of weblog posts about a book on the page for that book, and I had no way I liked for adding social share links to my posts. All of these could be solved with Emacs Lisp, but my skills were inadequate.

A few months ago, when I made another effort to simplify my workflow, I thought it was best to leave my old site behind and move to WordPress.

However, my books are generated from plain text files using Emacs Lisp, because that’s the only way I have to get exactly what I want. It works great, but I make little changes to the code all the time, which means my Emacs Lisp skills get better all the time.

And yesterday, when I was fighting with my Internet connection for over an hour to get my website updated, I looked again at my home-grown system. Surprisingly, my Emacs Lisp skills are now good enough that the showstopping problems I had before are almost trivial.

I’m trying to remember now what other reasons I had for adopting WordPress. One thing I remember was a focus on Amazon. My recent recreation has taken away that focus, and I think that my previous system is far better for my current and long-term needs.

But, it is also a huge waste of time to keep switching systems back and forth all the damn time.


In the afternoon I filled in some more holes in Taxi Adventure, about 650 words worth. At night I modified some of the flow of part three of the story and filled in another 450 words or so. Parts one and two have been mostly complete for a long time, and now part three is nearly complete, perhaps within a day’s work. Part four is also filling in slowly, and becoming more defined as the rest is filled in. Three solid days. I think I could finish it in three solid days.

I want that.