It’s been close to 3 years since I joined WordPress to create a blog of my own and it’s just been a little over a year since I wrote “A New Start…”. Before that this blog existed in numerous forms on different platforms under different names including “Acute and Obtuse”, “Living with my Thar” etc. What started as a photography page on Facebook churned 3 different WordPress blogs which remained stale since their inception. It was only when I made my resolve to quit Facebook in May 2016 that I started devoting my energies completely to this one and only existing aspect of my social life on the internet.
I never underestimated the efforts that would be required to maintain a blog. But, I also did not expect the difficulties I’ve faced in shaping up this blog into what it’s today. Today, the blog has reached a stage where I’m 100% confident about its intentions and the road ahead. The large number of interests I have and the want to cover them all hindered the thought process behind this blog. It was hard to get the design right in the first place.
I wanted an infinite blogroll, yet I wanted the blogroll to display only excerpts. I wanted a theme that was customizable, that allows a featured image for every post, that suits a photography portfolio while being plain-text friendly. It had to display the lengthy menu titles with taste and had to be elegant and not too flashy.
My obsession with getting the design didn’t end with the look and feel. The menu itself was a big headache, probably the biggest. I wanted the menu entries to be creative. Over time though, I realized that the obscure names tied to local Indian languages wouldn’t help a global reader to navigate with ease. So I had to revamp the menu titles such that the new form wouldn’t steal the character of the blog and the same time indicate to a reader what topics I write on. Doing this was a tougher decision than the design decisions I have taken as a Software Engineer.
Being the person that I am, I didn’t google “Tips to design your blog” or “How to be a successful blogger” beforehand. If I had done that, I’d probably have saved these 3 years and the efforts I’ve put in shaping this up. But do I regret that? No.
I don’t write for a living. I don’t blog to earn revenues. I don’t do it to flaunt a thousand followers. I don’t know if my writing will ever take me there. Yet, I do it. Why? For “Nirmal Anand”. Nirmal Anand is not a person, it’s a concept famously talked about in the 1980 Hindi movie ‘Khoobsurat’. It just means “pure happiness”. That’s what I write for.
So I’ve learnt from the mistakes I made. I’ve experimented with different themes. I’ve spent all these 3 years deciding on how to categorize my blogs and what each category’s name should be. Although I’m a tech-person in some sense, it took a lot of time for me to figure out how to use categories, tags and menus in the best possible way.
I’m happy where I’ve reached now. This design suits me perfectly, the revamped menu items will help my users to navigate in an easier way. I’m happy that there are people (in single digits still) who read all these stuff regularly. It’s a nice experience. That’s what “Nirmal Anand” is, afterall.