I think this is my ~5th attempt in the last ~6 months to try to start a blog again.

BUT THIS IS THE ONE. This blog I will not abandon! I’m optimistic!!!

I’ve decided that this was the problem: I had been agonizing over the logistics of setting up my blog, like: What blogging platform do I use? What theme should I pick?

And I kept being like, “ehhhhhh whatever, I’ll just choose something; the important thing is the writing and not the platform or the theme etc”

Which was the wrong mindset!

I realize now that I will use any excuse to not write, including “my blog looks too nice” or “I don’t like my text editor.”

That means the logistics of setting up my blog—where it lived and how it looked and how I would update it—were actually the most important questions for my blog. I needed to maximize the likelihood that I will blog at all.

With this latest installment of a vrk blog, I’ve arrived at the following conclusions:

  • I don’t like static site generators for blogging. Bleh, I kept trying to use Jekyll or Hugo, but I decided I don’t like either for blogging. I think they’re great for static content (I used Jekyll for my course websites when I taught), but I want a nice web-based editor, and all the basic niceties that come along with that. Like, auto-save. And private drafts! I got tired of having to git commit every time I wanted to save something.
  • I need my own custom theme. I also kept being like, “Ugh I don’t want to write my own theme” so I would settle for some free, existing theme that was ~fine~… and then I would start tweaking with the CSS, and then I’d start modifying the config files, and then I’d start modifying the templates… At that point, it’d be easier and less frustrating to just start from scratch, or a reasonable boilerplate. To be clear, it’s not that my blog looks incredible; rather, I like it to look kinda janky. But it needs to be my janky.
  • Medium was never an option. I mean, Medium taps into the brains of the world’s most insightful writers, thinkers, and storytellers to bring you the smartest takes on topics that matter” Literally the opposite of what I want. This is my blog! Where I write stuff! Stuff that is dumb! I need my blog to be weird-looking and I need to feel free to write bad takes on topics that don’t matter.

And so here’s the setup I’m using for vrk.dev:

  • WordPress install on my own hosting (via Dreamhost 1-click install, on my now 10-year-old Dreamhost account!)
  • With a custom theme that I build starting from Underscores and BMFWS. (Aside: ugh, I really appreciate BMFWS but man I don’t appreciate all the swearing lol. I’m considering creating a clean fork…)

This feels good!