My husband calls me his, “Multi-faceted, sparkling diamond.”
He’s nice that way. What he really means to say is, “You’re scattered all over the map, but I think you’re beautiful, and I love you anyway.”
He would also say, “You’re putting words in my mouth.” And I am. I like to think I am loved, and I like to think I am beautiful, in my own way, and I am certain that I am, but I am also definitely scattered all over the map.
Although I have a dozen hobbies, my home is neat and orderly. Order gives me some sense of peace, tranquility and serenity. I keep all of my stuff organized.
Despite the fact that everything in my home has a place that it lives, because I like to find stuff where I put it, where it lives, when I need it, I don’t have that many obsessions/compulsions. My writing; however, is an obsession.
In an effort to get my writing better organized and less scattered, I cleaned off my desk, and invested in Scrivener. I learned how to use it, and am keeping some of my writing a bit better organized. I also have notes that I keep on my computer in nice neat folders for reference. Yet, my desk continues to get cluttered with notebooks and papers where I jot down words and phrases as they come to me. It looks disorganized, and it drives me nuts.
My blog was driving me nuts, as well. “Nuts” is a relative term. I make no secret of the fact that I have bipolar disorder. Yes, I am medicated. But just like the alcoholic has certain personality traits that don’t disappear just because they stop drinking, I have little waves of ups and downs. I also have anxiety disorder, which makes my level of tolerance low. I don’t tolerate a lot of noise or chaos very well. I used to tolerate a lot more when I was working full time outside of the home, and had children living at home. Now, I have become emotionally quieter.
To the best of my knowledge, my psychiatrist hasn’t attached the label of personality disorder on me, yet. I am feeling; however, that it is only a matter of time. I seem to be developing multi-personality disorder.
I decided I did not like the look of my blog. I had to make a sweeping and dramatic change. It was more than just the black background and the nighttime header image. Those attributes were depressing me. It was beginning to bore me. The style wasn’t comfortable anymore. I have only been blogging since about April of this year, and this is my third theme. It is like a wardrobe that seems to have to change with the seasons. I have become attached to flip-flops, elastic waistband pants, and bangs…whether these are stylish, or not, they are comfortable. I am trying to find a blog theme that fits me, and is comfortable. This is a list of what I wanted in a theme.
- I wanted something unique and personalized (because I am eccentric that way…in a good way, of course).
- I wanted something aesthetically appealing (I want you to enjoy the view).
- I wanted something less busy (too much stuff seemed to clutter things up and make it seem like a commercial, so all of the busy, commercial type stuff is at the bottom…less intrusive).
- I wanted something that gave the reader options in reading format (so you have a layout button that you can switch from panels to a chronological list in the way you choose to view).
- I wanted something that gave the reader a sense of respite from the loud and busy blog. I know that a lot of that is to make a statement on purpose, to acquire the reader’s attention to specific features, to promote things like books or products, and that is okay. For my own blog, though, it was getting under my skin.
- I wanted it to be user friendly, and it is, but you do have to know where to look, all the blog stuff is still here, it is just at the bottom.
- I wanted my author name to be primary rather than my blog title. So I made my old blog title the subtitle instead.
- I wanted a blog that showed panels or lists of posts on the home page, rather than having to scroll through a whole barrage of material to get to the next posts. I also like that each post on this theme has a forward and backward arrow so that you can easily view what was posted before or since the post you are looking at.
I know that there are other authors out there that may feel that I am making a terrible marketing mistake by not having my book image immediately viewed. That’s okay. Truth is, as it says on my “About” page, I created this blog as a social experience to get to know both readers and writers, not to sell books.
I authored a book. I will continue to make promotional posts about that book, but since I am not promoting a series, I felt that mentioning it was enough. That’s just my opinion. If I ever wrote a series, or had chosen a specific writing genre already, I would probably have a more dedicated blog. I know branding is a big thing. I know I am probably doing it all wrong, this marketing/branding thing. I won’t have my author image, my blog image, my book cover image, and my photograph all instantly recognized by my viewers, at least not right away. Maybe I am just harder to get to know than that.
Maybe I am still the misunderstood foster child, wandering from home to home. Fact is, I moved more than twenty times in my first twenty years of life, and I am still moving, discontent to settle. Point is, I am not a niche blogger, and it’s not all about my book. It’s an everything blog, where I post stuff so I won’t forget it as my memory fails me. It’s a blog that I hope you will find moderately entertaining enough to keep coming back. Truth is, though I can appreciate the work effort you have all put into your blogs and themes, the reason I keep coming back is because I appreciate your content.
Enough said about that!
Now, the complaints:
This theme has its own oddities that I am going to have to get accustomed to if I am going to live here a while. I apologize in advance if these annoy you. There are already a few things that annoy me. Things that I did not realize until I had already gone through the work effort to change themes.
- There are no dates. This is something that is already complicating my life as I have to go into the dashboard just to find a post by its date and my readers don’t have that option. You can only see 2 hours ago, one day ago, two weeks ago…and I don’t like that. A serious minus.
- While it offers both my menu and some categories in the header, it limits the categories and I cannot figure how it decided which categories to choose. I don’t like not having control over that. Unless the reader goes to the bottom to see “Things I write about” you don’t have immediate access to all the other stuff I write about that is not in the randomly selected categories that are at the top, or in the menu.
- The bottom gets weird sometimes and doesn’t load properly, leaving words over words and words over pictures. That pisses me off.
- Because of the excessive graphics, it may take readers, especially those with slower internet services, longer to load the page. That pisses me off.
- Actually, anything that seems to complicate things for my readers is going to piss me off.
- On my iPad, the site appears different in a major way, and I am wondering if it is on your laptops. Maybe you can help me with this? Since I sold my laptop I have no way to test it. On my PC the header is large enough to show the entire seashore scene that is also my background image. I love it. But on my iPad, it only shows the top part, a bit of the orange sky like it does when you click on a post, or go from mail to a post. It does this even if you click “all” or refresh the homepage by clicking on the title (my name).
- Also, on the iPad, the comments are posted on an orangey-pinkish solid color (chosen by little green men that live inside of my computer, not me) instead of the beautiful translucent sheet that scrolls the ocean backdrop that I see on my PC.
So there are a few positives that outweighed the negatives about this theme. If my undiagnosed personality disorder becomes more pronounced, or the negatives begin to outweigh the positives, you may see me change themes again, such is the beauty of blogging. Sometimes, it is true, I think too deeply on things.
So, tell me what you think. Is it a refreshing change? Is this theme too complicated and less user friendly with the feature items at the bottom? Now that so much is read through the reader and not on the actual page, does it really matter to you as a reader what the theme looks like as long as the content is interesting to you? If you got this far, am I boring you to tears with this long expose on how I went about making up my strange and complex mind?