Of Templates and Life Plans

by anna on July 4, 2008

Having decided to start a regular blog, I had likewise determined that a standard wordpress theme was simply not good enough (complex enough? fancy enough? impressive enough?) for me. So, in true American fashion, I am on the hunt for a means of making something my own whilst still enjoying and exploiting the resources/knowledge/hard work of others. A mundane topic, but the very kind of thing upon which I hope to build the greatness of this blog.

Ready-made blog templates are designed by people much smarter and talented than I. Or at least, these designers/programmers, I would imagine, at the very least have some training in creating websites and writing code. Oh, I have dicked around a bit in Dreamweaver, and I did put together a few (extremely simple) academic websites back in the day. But I am hardly a gifted computer program OR graphic designer, having had training in neither field. I never took so much as a high school art class and I passed the one computer science class I took in college only with the generous help of a friend (who later became a programmer at Oracle), who wrote me a program in Pascal that allowed a multi-colored triangle to spin around in a circle.

But how difficult can it be, really?

One of the more challenging things about my personality is my tendency to need to have everything my way. This is true in particular for aesthetics, so I suppose that it is not surprising that I would be dissatisfied with the concept of using a regular template, or just getting started with the stupid blog in the first place and work on the design later.

Isn’t the whole point to be writing regularly? Isn’t the purpose of this blog, alongside self-indulgent navel gazing, to try to determine what my purpose is in this life by writing it all out for the world to see, judge, and condemn as they see fit? If I were a novelist (and I might be someday, I don’t want to rule that possibility out), I would thematically link this custom template into the macrodilemma of my being: what am I supposed to be doing with my life? What is my purpose? Is it something I can build on my own (how hard can it be?), or is their a shortcut available, maybe a tweak here and there of somebody else’s design that I can have up and running by tomorrow?

This brings up another point, viz. why am I doing this, anyway? My husband gently suggested that anything I put on the internet be anonymous. This is probably a safer route, but it also seems dishonest to me in a way that I find difficult to explain. I am not particularly concerned with being stalked, or placing my family in any kind of physical jeopardy. Perhaps I should be. This has occurred to me on occasion when I have put pictures and videos of my infant son on the internet. There are some sick people out there. But what I don’t know doesn’t usually hurt me and I am a virtuoso of denial.

I despise criticism, and publishing my ungoverned thoughts on the internet is an efficient means of garnering boatloads of it. This is particularly true if I get into the shadier the past–my life is excruciatingly boring at present, but I have a colorful store of past misdeeds to keep this blog going for months, and not a few of these early adventures are likely to disturb some of the more conservative of my readers. There is also the (unlikely) possibility that certain members of my extended family might one day figure out the interwebs View definition in a new window and discover my thoughts on their lives.

But this is the price of fame, I suppose. I have covered so many topics and so little in this first post. I think this will probably be my habit. There is so much to say about nothing. As I try to change my template and debug, I am hoping to also learn something about myself and where I want to be. But I will try to steer clear of the platitudes as much as possible. In the next post, that is.

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