01/04/2020

# I wanted to share what I wrote in this morning's pages:

Now I start each day with a blank page, both physically and digitally. A clean slate, an opportunity to begin again, to shape each day as I see fit. This lockdown means that things lose their definition, everything kind of blends into everything else. The challenge is in making each day unique, in trying to mark the passage of time somehow, to give each day a shape and a sense of identity. It's hard. The morning pages are specific to that day, unique; even if I might write about similar things they are never the same. The blog is also "of the moment", divided into days by design. Daily activities may be limited but I can try to shape each day with words, give it a purpose and character. I think writing has become more important than ever, as an escape, as a way to understand myself and my thoughts, as a way to communicate that to others. Our opportunities to meet and talk have been removed so we must remake our connections digitally. For some than means social media or video apps, for me it means sharing words and thoughts, their passage from mind to page to screen. It's not much in the grand scheme of things but it's something I can do every day, something I can control and that's all any of us want at the moment: just to feel like we have something that is within our power to influence seeing as so much is currently denied to us.

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# If you're reading this then the update to WordPress 5.4 was successful. Updates are always a little nerve-wracking when so much of your site is hand coded and held together with chewing gum and sticky tape. You're never entirely sure that it's going to load up or work properly afterwards.

Still, everything keeps going, feeds get built and mails sent so I suppose I'm being a little hard on myself. That's just how it feels.

For some time, and especially since the introduction of the new editor in WordPress 5, I've seen the paths that I and the CMS are on diverge considerably. While I may have completely changed how the blog operates, and added all sorts of tweaks and features, my overarching goal is to make things simpler, cleaner, to strip it back so that there is less to distract from the words.

WordPress itself, on the other hand, is increasingly about being more and better. There are ever more options and ways to present your posts, more blocks to include and manage media, new APIs to tweak all sorts of things. It's easy to see how WordPress is so many things to so many people and why it makes up so much of the web.

I don't want or need any of that. In fact, you might wonder why I still use WordPress rather than going for something simpler. The main reason is familiarity; while I may not be a dev and there's a lot of stuff I don't know I know enough PHP and my way around WordPress to get it to do most of what I want.

I could switch to another type of blogging system, something more in tune with my desired aesthetics, maybe a static site builder, but it would take me way too long to learn enough. I feel that I would be compromising the way I want to blog, the way I want things to work, for the sake of moving.

Yes, WordPress is way too complex for my needs but I'm not sure the trade offs would be worth it.

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Colin Walker Colin Walker colin@colinwalker.blog