I also experience constant and persistent crashing of openoffice writer.
My ability to identify what might be the cause of these crashes diminishes each time that writer crashes due to a more and more insignificant action taken by me the user. The problem originally began when -- having opened a .doc file originally created in microsoft word with openoffice writer -- I attempted to export the document as a pdf. Writer crashed. Upon reopening the file -- now having saved the file as .odt before exporting to pdf -- all endnote numerals throughout the entire document were changed to times new roman font at a font size matching the document font size, with no ability to change their attributes.
By now though, any action taken (sending the file by email, converting the file from .odt to .rtf, converting the file to pdf, whether the mouse was moved to the wrong corner of the screen), crashes openoffice writer. Deleting/resetting user profile does not solve this problem. I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling openoffice suite: this does not solve the issue.
OpenOffice 3.1 on Windows Vista