It’s been so quiet around here this month. I wanted to check and see how everyone is doing. How are your resolutions going?
Here is my update.
I’ve been heads down in development. I’ve been reworking the billing section for mobile (going through each area of the app). While I’ve been at it, I made it much easier to understand the whole checkout process. “Enter payment info to keep Dabble after the trial” isn’t very clear. I’m also adding multiple plans based off feedback from you and a survey I sent out. I hope to give people what they need at a price they feel is fair. Current subscribers won’t be affected, unless you want to change plans to something cheaper (though more limited).
There is still a lot of testing ahead before I can release to beta, then a lot more testing after that to ensure Dabble works great with spotty internet connections.
Despite life throwing me a massive curve ball I have managed to write a short story every week, make 4 posts every week (3 additional ones typically are the short story I wrote broken down into 3 bits for a total of 7 days a week). My editing is not going well. I hope to hit the editing a bit this week, last week saw 0 hours editing. But I caught up on the short story I didn’t write the prior week (I wrote one, but it wasn’t the intended prompt I was supposed to write)
This week I won’t be writing 3K words as I’ve decided this prompt works well as a children’s story with illustrations - mind you they’ll be crappy crayon drawings like a kid might do cause that’s sorta the point of it.
I should be working on my NaNoWriMo 2019 novel draft but for some reason I find myself working every day on another writing project. What began as a small notes file on December 19, 2019 has grown into a tome of some 640 Kbytes, 88,000 words and 3,600 paragraphs. It’s a technical document entitled Publishing on Linux and is therefore written in Markdown. It’s a book with tables, figures, footnotes, code fences, LaTeX math formulas, links to external websites and lots of internal bookmarks. Converted to PDF with Pandoc it’s over 400 pages not counting the automatically generated TOC.
Publishing on Linux is still this slowly growing draft. I want to consult other notes files I’ve written over the past few years to flesh out the material too.
Why write about Linux? To exercise my freedom. Both Windows and macOS are lovely walled gardens that limit my freedom. Software obsolescence, forced upgrades, applications that cannot be copied or decoded or redistributed are IMHO a huge problem. So Publishing on Linux offers a view into standard open file formats, open source tools and how to craft a writing and publishing toolchain to produce high-quality PDF and ePub files.
Sorry to hear about the challenges. They make us better, stronger, but they are often things appreciated afterwards, not during.
Dabble has a slow growth month, and I may have to pick up one more contract job before Dabble allows me to stay focused on it full-time. I will get mobile out first though, before I pick up anything extra. Still, it’s nice to say my contract jobs are on-the-side now, rather than Dabble.
I doesn’t have any special resolution, but I know what I want to do this year.
I want to work hard at University, I want to do what is right, and I want to spend more time learning how great stories are built (in order to writer better stuff).
On Spring 2019, I faced rather dark moments at University and had to take a break. I took a break from my studies until last week, and now I’m back to normal !
This means that I’ve just spend ten month with nothing else to do than writing, and translating fanfiction on Ao3. So I have have to edit stuff for three month now…
I also feel better learning philosophy at University. I live in France and philosophy is nothing like what there is in UK or US. It’s almost like it doesn’t have the same meaning, because we doesn’t have the same method, authors, etc. I felt a bit frustrated, like I was learning crap. Now, I know what I want to learn and how and it suddenly became so easy ! I feel like I’m building my own way through the lectures rather than being constantly poked by teacher to go this way or that way.
By the way, Dabble is perfect to write “academic” essays. I can be totally chaotic with my notes and logic in the plotting tool, and then come to the writing part with a classic “Introduction - First Part - First argument… - Second Part… - Conclusion…” well organized, with the scene tool.
PS : I also changed to Linux. My windows got a virus and I had no money for the fixing. Now, I feel so particular when sitting in a lecture with three hundred other students : I’m not using Windows or Apple, and I’m using Dabble (and no knows Dabble here…).
I’ve resolved to stop procrasinating. A very bad habit I’ve had for the longest of times, And I think I’m doing alright as long as I am doing something, anything. However, now I think I need to work on priortizing before avoiding procrastination so that the important things don’t go on the backburner.
You can use a great many command line tools on Windows from the Linux environment now thanks to their implementing Linux kernels in most capacity on Windows 10 now. I develop primarily on windows using it now. I get my windows programs like Word and Excel, but I have an epic command line. You can’t use any GUI interfaces from the Linux world but Pandoc works great.
The Linux command line is one of the best tools on the planet. Back in the day Windows users would install Cygwin to get the GNU utilities. Today it’s much easier thanks to Canonical upper its game and partnering with MSFT.
Here in the den I’m mostly using Linux for writing, research, communicating and a little development work. I still keep a Macintosh on hand because of Scrivener. Nothing beats Scrivener. MacOS includes a full suite of GNU command line utilities so switching between Linux and MacOS is easy.
The Publishing on Linux Markdown file I’m working on can be converted to a PDF book using this command line:
Why does the file name contain “prettier” you ask? Because I write poorly styled Markdown. Prettier is a command-line pretty-printer that enforces a standardized format to my Markdown. It also keeps Pandoc from complaining about my poor Markdown.
I used pandoc to turn my first drafts into an ebook. My preferred workflow is markdown files representing scenes that I then publish together with a php script I wrote cause listing them all sucks in pandoc, and I develope in php so it was the fastest route. Then I converted with pandoc. But sadly I can’t really show edits in markdown without critmarkup and teaching someone else the markup is too much trouble. Though sublime has a plugin to assist with the processing part of it. I love Dabble, but I need to be able to share with my alpha reader so I flop between markdown in dropbox, google docs during editing and dabble for nano and other time keeping things I don’t need to share easily.
There is another thread around here that talks about other tools that Dabblers use. Reading that thread and this one makes me appreciate that writers are like mechanics or carpenters. We all have a tool chest and some of us just have a bigger one than the others.
@Johannes_Rexx I absolutely do, and I’m still not 100% happy. I’m always looking for the perfect tool. When Dabble is more mature it’s very close to what I want in an app. Which is why I stopped developing my own lol.
Mine are going! I’ve gotten a manuscript off for proofing, but now I’m on holidays (Hello, New York and New Orleans) so everything has taken a bit of a break. I’m back in just over a week, so I’ll be picking back up regularly again then!