I’ve been thinking a lot about writing more often — doing something like what Austin Kleon does, or what he used to do: frequent updates about what I’m working on and thinking about, giving away whatever knowledge I have for free, and linking it all together with some sort of meta-textual awareness.

Post-Twitter, it seems like the best sort of thing to do with a personal website: write personal thoughts, sometimes using more than 280 characters, and link them together. Sometimes add links to things outside of this site too. Share it all for free, in the tradition of the open web (none of this paid newsletter stuff, lest suddenly I do this as a job and begin to despise it).

Of course, as soon as I thought about it, I started thinking about the forever-unfinished state of this redesign. Despite starting work on it during the early days of the pandemic, I never found time or motivation to finish it. It felt too much like work, and I was already up to my ears in work. I assumed that it would slow down at some point, but it never did. (An amazing predicament to be in as a freelancer.)

And so the site sits unfinished, and I feel unable to participate in my own work as I once did.

I don’t like Wordpress. It’s open source, but it also lacks direction, and I disagree with almost every direction it’s taken in the past half a decade. I’d prefer something Markdown based, so I can write on my computer, run a quick script from the command line, and be up and running. But I also want the flexibility to create complex structure if I need it. (I keep thinking I may one day want to share my photography work on the site, and that would require its own design and post type, so I do want to some flexibility.)

Some options:

  • Grav
  • Statamic
  • Craft CMS (I think Craft is the best CMS in the world right now, but I wouldn’t be able to use flat files at all if I took this approach)
  • Kirby
  • Ghost

Leaning towards Craft or Kirby at the moment, but neither of them really match what I’m looking for. Obviously I could use Jekyll or any of its descendants, but something about that approach holds me back. I think it’s great they support plain text so well, but my site may end up being more rich than mere static text would allow.

In the meantime, I’d like to keep writing here. The work of the site is the text itself, not the container surrounding it. As much as the web designer in me hates to admit it, carrier pigeons have delivered more important words on paper with much less design.”