Note: I switched to the Zuki theme in 2014. Then to Blink and Goodz Magazine in 2016.
As most of you know, I think a lot about the idea of an online home — maintaining a space that makes sense for me — and struggle with blogger’s block (going strong for two years now). I found that design was part of the issue, and a new tumblresque theme on my other blog invited me to post more — quick musings, links and quotes, and “unpolished” material in particular.
But over the past month, I’ve realized that was just the first step, and having two separate blogs — this one for occasional personal essays and that one as a traditional blog — wasn’t quite what I wanted. I’ve carved out profiles and such across social networks, all of which ultimately point visitors here, but keeping two blogs didn’t feel right. While I was blogging again — yay! — I felt fragmented. And while I like a fragmented web in some ways, I don’t like it in the context of my own home.
And so, here’s what I did:
I switched this blog’s theme.
I’d enjoyed the Kent theme, but it was time for a refresh. I switched to Collective, which is designed as a collaborative theme for teams and portfolios. I love its full-width pages and posts, wide header images, the grid-style portfolio template, and its general professional look — I knew I could tweak it to fit my needs.
Aiming for more of a landing page, I created a simple homepage with some of my original About page copy, and included a few widgets in the footer. I’d love to go without any widgets, but I need a search bar (this theme doesn’t have one built in) and a “follow blog” widget, as the location of Collective’s social icons doesn’t work with WordPress.com’s default “Follow” button for non-logged-in folks, both of which display at the bottom right of the page. So, I have a footer with widgets for now, but I want to tinker with the CSS to see what I can do.
I updated my About page as well, with some new background information, but didn’t want it to be too long. Writing a more in-depth bio is challenging — I always feel silly, as we toot our own horns and talk about our accomplishments as if we’ve lived full lives.
I imported the content from my other blog, cherilucasrowlands.com.
I moved all of my posts and pages over from the other blog. It’s an easy process within the dashboard — creating an export file of content, and then uploading it here. I noticed a bit of weirdness with media files — a few random photographs appearing in the wrong posts, which I’ve cleaned up. I also realized after the fact that I only needed my posts, not my pages, while I lost all comments and likes. But still, the process was smooth.
I also moved my other domains — cherilucas.com and cherilucasrowlands.com — to this site, so readers who visit those will be redirected here.
I created a dedicated space for fog-inspired musings.
While Writing Through the Fog is my baby, and a project I’m proud of, it’s no longer my focus. I hardly have time to write. So I went through six years of Writing Through the Fog posts, tagged the ones I really liked with a new category, and then created a tab for this category — “Writing Through the Fog” — in my navigation menu. When I publish personal essays, memoir, and the musings you expect from Writing Through the Fog, you’ll find them here.
I’ve kept posts clean, and updated image sizes on many older posts, which didn’t look right on this theme. I prefer minimal, uncluttered, and full-width templates, so hopefully the reading experience is easy on your eyes.
I set up a blog.
I’ve created a “Blog” tab in my menu as well, where you’ll find everything: Quick posts. Links and quotes. Recommended reading. Experimental material. But also all of the longer pieces I’ll publish, too. Poke around and you’ll see the posts I’d imported, and previous Writing Through the Fog posts as well.
Basically, it’s where everything I publish will go — a traditional stream of blog posts.
I placed my photography posts in a separate stream.
I don’t consider myself a photographer, but rather a writer who always carries her iPhone.
I nixed this line from my About page, but it’s stuck with me, and I wanted to record it here for posterity. I went through all of my photography posts since 2008 and untagged “photography” from the ones I didn’t want to appear in this archive. I then created a new portfolio page template, which the Collective theme supports, specified “photography” as the featured category, and voilà: a shiny grid-style page for my favorite photography posts.
I’m still cleaning things up, and will continue to tweak, so you might see more changes. In the meantime, take a look, and if you see something amiss or have specific feedback, let me know. Thanks!