It’s always a balance – I make a portion of my income from my writing, including the weekly newsletter and this blog, and so I try to treat them like a business.
Confession: I suck at treating things like a business. I’m just not very motivated by money, as much as I recognize the need for it in the world we currently have in place.
So, it’s always a balance between nerding out and spending hours trying to figure something out, and doing the “least viable” thing, so that I can get back to actually writing. That was this week in a nutshell.
As someone with ADHD, I hate having to assign a category to a blog post, so, I generally don’t. But the theme I use (and most themes by default) will display one anyway in the metadata (the place on the post page where it shows things like the date, often under the title of the post – see picture above). So, I spent about an hour this week trying to figure out how to remove the “category” link in this theme’s meta block.
I’ve been using WordPress from almost the beginning, and it used to be fast and elegant – so elegant and clean that it was easy to tinker with. None of that is true anymore – it’s bulky and bloated and every “improvement” they make to make it more “user-friendly” just makes it more and more complex and harder to make it your own. It’s far more powerful than I need at this point, and I wish I had the time to learn something flat and simpler like Jekyl.
I spent about 30 minutes trying to figure out how to remove the categories link on the wordpress theme I use – TwentySixteen. In 2008, this would have been ridiculously simple to do. It is no longer simple. In the old days, you would just comment out (or delete) the PHP that creates the link. Now, you generally have to make it invisible with CSS, which means you have to find the CSS that displays it, which will vary from theme to theme.
Because of “improvements”, it’s recommended you make a child theme to make changes like this to your blog, so I followed instructions on how to make a child theme – this killed most of another hour.
One reason I use the Twentysixteen theme (other than it’s damn hard to find a traditional blog theme, with a main column and one sidebar anymore) is it has a ton of documentation online. Eventually, Google led me to the instructions on how to make the “Category” link disappear. At this point, we are 2.5 hours in. And what’s perhaps most frustrating is that nothing I learned today is really transferable, other than very generally. Every theme handles these things a different way. #sigh
This week I also made the beginnings of a colophon page (the link is in the footer), where I will link to the tools I use to make this blog.
It’s not ready to share yet, but I’m laying out the basics for a NOW page, like all the other cool kids.
And because I was super-swamped at work the first half of this week, my Monday newsletter went out on Wednesday. Normally if I can’t publish, I just don’t (this happens 3-4 times a year) but I always hate that, so I’m figuring late is better than nothing. I also don’t publish when Monday is a holiday, and Monday the 10th is a holiday (Easter) here in the US, so that would mean two weeks without publishing had I skipped it.