The year is 2019 and my personal website’s theme is Twenty Nineteen.
I’ll get straight to it: I’ve been off lately. My potential and my outcomes have not been one and the same. My clarity has been absent. My self-esteem has been weak.
One year ago at this time, I felt almost completely the opposite. I straightened up my bedroom — to say the least — and was absolutely ecstatic that the Christmas gifts I had received all added value to my life. I wasn’t gifted items I didn’t have use for and I was enjoying a quality-over-quantity mindset.
This year, I can say the same about the gifts I was lucky enough to receive for Christmas, but I can’t speak as fondly of the alignment between my values and my actions when it comes to minimalism.
I’m not a minimalism nut, but it sure is a useful paradigm for dealing with stuff. I’ve realized that its merits extend beyond physical stuff and into the clutter we encounter digitally, too.
I gave my personal website a new look once already earlier this year. I did like it, but I was letting it get in the way of what this website is for.
As I bring minimalism back to the forefront of my mind, I’ve activated this year’s default WordPress theme, called Twenty Nineteen, on my personal website. This theme definitely is minimalist to its core, but that’s not the only reason I’m excited about it.
Whenever I get too focused on design and other generally unimportant factors, particularly with The Apex, Ben reminds me that it doesn’t matter if our articles are centered on a white background with a 12-point Times New Roman font. If they’re interesting and people want to read them, people will read them.
I’ve already spent enough time on the wrong end of the “Creating Worthwhile Things Versus Prioritizing BS” scale this year. I could sort my paragraphs in reverse order, have lines read right to left and even translate my posts to Polish — if what I had to say was interesting and you wanted to read it badly enough, you’d go through the trouble of decoding it.
This Twenty Nineteen theme isn’t heavy in features and certainly has its drawbacks, but that’s the whole point! Limited features allow me to focus on creating and design drawbacks don’t matter when you have an engaged audience who will stop at nothing to consume what you put out.
In many cases, less is more.
A Special Medium
Given that I’m so young, even recent history tends to predate my existence. Thus, I basically just presume there was a golden era of blogging I missed out on.
I don’t know much about that era, but I can piece together how today’s content sources — and culture in general — led to its downfall. Why blog when you can dish out your thoughts in a Snapchat “story”? Why have your own domain on the internet when all you know is being identical in capabilities and qualifications to almost every person your age? Why own your creations when you can let Instagram and Twitter do the hosting for you?
It fills my heart to know that at least some people shun the new normal. I don’t believe blogs are dead. In my inexplicably minuscule corner of the web, I’m hoping to help keep the fire burning.
I’ve made precisely zero customizations to Twenty Nineteen. Here are a few reasons why:
- Published by Aaron Durant. Located below each post on my website, this is a nod to how cool I think it is that anyone can publish anything so incredibly easy today. What a time to be alive. And what a waste of time to place excessive priority on the parts of something that matter least, like the design of my website versus the writing that fills it.
- Proudly powered by WordPress. Instead of putting a copyright notice in the footer, I’ll be sticking with the default text, which links to wordpress.org. I love blogging, so why not link to a resource that might lead to another person feeling the same way? And regarding a copyright notice: If I produce something worth stealing, good. Ideas are pointless if they don’t spread.
I’m elated that the unimportant bits are out of my way so I can focus on what truly matters. It’s what minimalism and Twenty Nineteen are all about.