Update: A bit of housekeeping

2014-03-28 17.19.36If you haven’t already noticed, I’ve been making a few changes to the blog layout. I’ve changed it to the Spun theme, mostly because I needed a change and felt that it was one of the most attractive and minimalist free themes available. I’ve been needing a change of blog scenery and I think Spun looks good. I’m not sure if it’s as user-friendly as most blog themes – for example, the sidebar is only visible if you click the ‘plus’ symbol at the bottom of the front page – this is where I’ve put the search box, category drop-down, follow button and archives. I will keep adding to my ‘Greatest Hits’ page in order to spotlight posts that might otherwise get lost way back somewhere. I’ll also put my social media links on my ‘About‘ page (but there are also social media buttons at the bottom of the homepage).

Why do I feel the need for something so pared down and minimalist? It feels fresher, and my head needs fresher at the moment. I’m attempting to lift that feeling of bloggers-block, if there even is such a thing! I do try to write here as much as I can, when I’m in the right mood, and if there’s something interesting I’ve been thinking about or have to write out. I read Cheri Lucas Rowland’s most recent post today, and I could identify with much of what she wrote. As much as I love blogging, the lustre wears off after a while, and whilst I know I have it in me to love writing and blogging as much as I did when I started out, recently I’ve been trying to strike a match and failing. Photography has reignited some of that creative passion, and I think it shows in my latest photos. My photos have developed since I first started blogging, and I have come to appreciate the power of a good photo to illustrate mood, topic and ideas.

I have a few books I need to get on with writing. There are two fiction books waiting for me, and perhaps one or two non-fiction books. We all have control over what we do with our time, but lately I feel as though time is out of my hands. When it isn’t, and all that is happening here is that I need to rediscover what it means to manage my time effectively. Yet also allow myself the space to dream and brainstorm – to be freer and less constrained by the boxes I put myself in. I miss the feeling of flow – similar to a meditative state where it is your hands flying across the keys and your mind and heart pouring out onto paper (or screen). You become focused on that one task and not distracted by the call of social media or the other demands on your time. When I was writing my NaNoWriMo novels, I slipped into that state, and would sometimes find it past lunchtime, having forgotten to eat, or the sky had darkened outside.

This is why I have changed the layout – more for myself than anyone else – to promote that feeling of focus. It reminds me a bit of Tumblr, too. I hope my readers also find the layout interesting and inspiring. I’ve always been drawn towards less clutter on websites, but I also love texture and colour.

‘We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.’ – Kurt Vonnegut.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. cardamone5 says:

    I hear you about blogging burn out. I have been feeling that big time. My way of quelling the feeling that I need to be posting: post portions of my memoir, which are in no way polished, but which I just need to get out there. The two posts I have added so far are too long, especially the first one, and surprisingly, portions written recently. When I first thought I finished my book, I was so proud of how polished it was that i didn’t stop and think: is it didactic, are these the thoughts I had when I was 8, 11, 21 or are those my adult thoughts? Turns out they were adult thoughts, and very, very judgmental, which is was a great release, but not terribly compelling. Anyway, I digress, but I get what you’re saying and the impetus behind your blog appearance change.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Liz Ward says:

      I think every blogger and writer has a different way of getting over the blocks, it’s great that you’re posting everything 🙂 I think I need to be kinder to myself too, I’m feeling a bit burnt out and I imagine that has a lot to do with lack of sleep too, which never helps! I’m sure I’ll find my way back eventually xx

      Like

  2. I’ve been tempted to change the theme on my blog recently, too. I’m a bit obsessed with all-white backgrounds – and thus, the “Truly Minimal” theme has caught my eye. 🙂 I do miss the sidebar here on your blog, but I think the text is a bit bigger in “Spun” — at any rate, I find it slightly easier to read. As for not posting as often, really, no worries about that! I get overwhelmed by bloggers who post every day, not to mention those who post multiple times a day! I think 2-3 times a week is the sweet spot for me, but there’s a rhythm that works for everyone. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Liz Ward says:

      Just checked out Truly Minimal – it really is minimal! 🙂 Yeah, I miss the sidebar too. I saw a few paid themes that looked more like what I wanted but my budget just doesn’t stretch there at the moment. The ‘+’ at the bottom of the page shows the sidebar, if you ever want to look through archives or whatever though. I actually agree with you about how often people post. I tried posting once a day last November and it just didn’t work for me! I think I tend to post at least once a week at the moment 🙂

      Like

  3. mspmontalvo says:

    I’m new to blogging (Just starting up really) and am having fun looking at a variety of blogs. I have a visual disability so I’m partial to clean, simple layouts. I’m learning slowly and am glad you mentioned how to find what used to be on a sidebar, though I must mention I’m reading this on an iPad and don’t see the ‘plus’ sign. I’ll keep checking back! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Liz Ward says:

      Welcome to blogging! 🙂 I was a little worried about how user-friendly this particular theme is, it’s okay when you get used to it. I like the slightly bigger font and white background, it feels like a bigger space and there’s more room to think/focus. The plus sign looks like ‘+’ and it’s in a grey circle at the bottom of the front page and the bottom of post pages – on the front page it’s under the ‘older posts’ button. Hope that helps 🙂

      Like

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