Writing In Public: Year 1, Month 1, Day 12

Losing the fight

The idea to change to using OpenDocument as the foundation for my work seemed as though it should work. After all, a multitude of tools claim to read and write the format. However, when I tried Wednesday to just come up with a simple set of tools that would take me from start to finish on a project, I failed. Not only do Google Docs and LibreOffice Writer use the format differently, the files they produce are, for my purposes, incompatible. And though I could (re)adopt the format and just use LibreOffice alone, I think that would leave me more constrained and dependent on a single vendor than before.

As I worked with all this throughout the day, I tried to remember what I was gaining from this exercise. I remember that print editions would be slightly prettier, though at a cost of manual effort–maybe a lot of it. By the end of the day I was wondering if I was foolishly wasting my time.

And the answer was probably.


So I wasted the day fighting with the document format, then spent the evening at a side job. By night I wanted to get back to Taxi Adventure, which is really fun to work on now.

Unfortunately, because of the file incompatibilities I’d discovered, I could not get to a place where I could work on the book. That is to say, I have several copies of the book now in slightly incompatible formats, and not only am I not sure any of them is complete and current, I’m pretty sure that adding to most of them is making the problem worse.

So, for the day, zero fiction words, in the worst possible way.

I am not happy about that. And what do I do when I am not happy? I change things.

Stupid article about John Scalzi.