February 19, 2019

You might have noticed that I gave my blog a little face-lift. I’m looking forward to the March SOLSC as it will be my sixth year! I began writing more intentionally and started my blog late in February 2014. I have never regretted the time I have spent here writing and the time spent reading your blogs at TWO WRITING TEACHERS. There is so much to learn and so many different ways to grow in this process. It was growth to risk my first poem, my first photo upload (don’t laugh), and my first comment to another writer. Now I’m trying to continue to grow as a writer and a user of this amazing technology.

Changing my blog theme felt overwhelming. I picked my previous theme the first year I participated in the SOLSC. Do you want to know how I picked it? I chose the same theme of the person who gave me my first comment on March 1, 2014. I remember thinking: if I use his theme, will my writing seem as better? I couldn’t believe I got such a beautiful response on my first day!

So, changing themes. How do you decide what looks good? How do you handle over 400 choices? Should your theme match your blog name? Does anyone care or think about that stuff? What about headers? Do you use the ones provided, or do you use your own photo? And what about color schemes? Does this come naturally to everyone but me? To help calm my fears, I did what I always do. I bought a book: WORDPRESS FOR BEGINNERS 2019. I definitely feel like I’m still a beginner and have a lot to learn. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to work through this book and try to understand and use more features. Maybe you’ll see some!

Reflecting on my five years of blogging there are some things I wish I’d known and done from the beginning. First, I would have titled my pieces, rather than just dating them. As a growing writer, I think I need to give my posts the respect of a title. Isn’t that what I would want my students to do? Honestly, I see my practice of using the date as a title is either lazy or just a safety net – a way to avoid commitment to my work. Another area for growth.

Next, I wish I had had a little more blogging savvy and set up categories and tagged my writing from the beginning. Now I have this nagging feeling that I really need to go back and add those things. Especially now that I wonder, “Did I already tell that story?” Any advice or tips you can give me are welcome.

I appreciate you, dear Reader, more than you know.

 

17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chris (ReadSoMuch)
    Feb 19, 2019 @ 20:56:39

    I have changed my blog background multiple times. I ended up going back to a very simple color to keep myself calm and relaxed. 🙂 I love TWT for challenging us as writers and digital bloggers!

    Reply

  2. Natasha
    Feb 19, 2019 @ 21:15:03

    Hmm. I just posted a piece without a title. You’ve got me thinking about that decision now. As someone new to blogging (and slicing), it’s interesting to hear about your thought processes. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply

  3. Amy Rudd
    Feb 19, 2019 @ 21:32:11

    I like the idea of thinking through the process part. I always give me posts a title. I feel like that’s one of my strengths. I think it’s the part that brings the post home! I’ve also changed my background and theme . It’s like rearranging the furniture. Sometimes it just feels better. Or it’s like repainting a room in the house. Sometimes the feeling just calls to you. When you slice every day for a month, you sometimes worry less about the look and more about the words. That’s why we read each other’s slices-to get to know you as well as the house we are visiting. Sure the look invites us in but the relationship we develop with our words, that’s what calls us back.

    Reply

    • mgminer
      Feb 19, 2019 @ 21:37:05

      Thank you for this response – I love your last sentence. Yes, for me, it IS the words that hold the power to grab my attention and my heart.

      Reply

  4. Amy Rudd
    Feb 19, 2019 @ 21:33:17

    Uh oh, “me posts”. 😂
    I need to proof my comments too!

    Reply

  5. theapplesinmyorchard
    Feb 19, 2019 @ 21:47:30

    Great post. I like how you bring us through your process.

    Reply

  6. margaretsmn
    Feb 19, 2019 @ 21:55:24

    Another blogger turned me on to pexels.com to get free images. I like using an image because they show up when you post to social media. I look forward to the SOLC. I always meet and connect to new teacher-writers.

    Reply

  7. aggiekesler
    Feb 19, 2019 @ 22:06:53

    Great reflections on your life as a blogger. I made many of the same rookie mistakes you did. If it were me, I would go back and add tags to your writing. It makes it easier when you are looking for a particular post, too. I’m starting my 9th year, so trying to remember when I wrote a particular post when I have nearly 300 posts is hard work. I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts. Love the internal dialogue in this one! 🙂

    Reply

  8. onathought
    Feb 19, 2019 @ 23:31:06

    6th year here too! I am looking forward to March — and also a little worried! What if I have no slices left in me! I’m always worried that I told that story before! Here’s to March!

    Reply

  9. Angelina
    Feb 20, 2019 @ 00:08:48

    I also feel like I am constantly tweaking my blog, looking for better ways to write and present my ideas. It is a constant hobby of sorts. Btw, your theme looks great and inviting. Plus, you have your own domain, something I haven’t been brave enough to tackle yet. Good going!

    Reply

  10. Ramona
    Feb 20, 2019 @ 06:34:05

    I’m impressed that you’ve made changes to your blog. I recognize writers by their blog themes so when changes are made, I’m challenged a bit. I’m also impressed that you’re reading a book about wordpress. I started with blogger and have wanted to switch many times, but just don’t have the energy for the new learning it would require.

    Reply

    • mgminer
      Feb 20, 2019 @ 13:55:47

      I’m totally with you on the energy part! My learning will be slow, for sure. I worried about changing my blog for just that reason – would anyone remember it’s mine? But, I just couldn’t look at that header anymore! Sort of how I feel about my carpet and furniture about now.

      Reply

  11. barbara suter
    Feb 21, 2019 @ 14:30:26

    I’m just plain too wary of changing because it took me a long time to get my initial blog up and running and then wordpress changed things and I had to almost start over. I am not a techie and these changes can be very upsetting to me. Having said that, I do love people’s gorgeous themes and artwork and wish I could do more. I’ve always titled by blogs. Maybe because I’m an English teacher?

    Reply

  12. Terje
    Feb 23, 2019 @ 03:38:07

    I created my blog nine years ago the day before the challenge and didn’t have much time to think. I sometimes laugh at my blog title “Just for a month” because this was my plan, to write for a month only. The title makes no sense now, but oh well, let it be. I have tried updating the look of my blog several times but eventually opted for the simples look possible. Like you, I wish I had labeled my posts better in the past. As for “Have I written about this before?” I feel I am writing about the same things over and over, just a bit differently each time. And this is ok.

    Reply

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