Formatting My Brain

So, I still hate my book. Understandable. But I’m making progress on trying to format with Word. Word, if none of you have ever tried to format a book length document with it, is hard. There are three schools of thought about book formatting–the first is “hire a professional you idiot,” the second is “you can do it yourself, but only if you buy our specialized software,” and the third is “yeah, just do it in Word, no big deal.” Since my husband’s a computer geek, we decided to try Word, with the option of giving up and buying software from option #2 if we suffer too much.

What I’ve learned so far is that Word and my brain have a something in common. They both do a kind of “butterfly effect” chaos in response to change. For example, I commanded Word to change the chapter headings from bold to italic. In response, Word did that. Yay me. But Word also removed all italics from chapters 2, 17, and 30. Okay…

I’m trying to deal with my frustration by comparing this to my body and brain. If I change my diet, I lose weight. Yay. But I also have a hypomanic episode. Boo. If I exercise more, my legs get stronger. Yay. But I get a UTI. Boo. If I get some extra sleep, I feel less tired. Yay. But I get disoriented. Boo. Any departure from the status quo has unpredictable effects.

We’ll see what happens with Word. Trouble is, you can’t maintain a status quo when the whole point of the process is to change your document.