the difference of social media / blogging vs independent website use is so... strange, honestly. i grew up in such an era before social media, you know, and even still, i feel strange going back to the slower-paced, quieter forms of online expression. it's like coming back from a movie or going to the mall. people have said things about social media being a sort of 'third place' of the digital era, and i don't want to rehash it. but it makes you think.
i think websites are neat. they are like houses, compared to the mall of social media... it's cozier. it's... quieter. can you imagine running a website alongside someone else? i guess that'd be kind of fun. if you can both access the files, i mean. it might be a hassle if you use a static site gen and aren't using github to push and pull changes from the main branch, i guess.
uh, i got distracted. LOL. anyway i guess something about websites as houses is that people are under the impression they have to build them themselves, or from the ground up. they don't know the ways to maintain it, i guess, and it seems insurmountably difficult to just... learn a whole new skill.
but in that way, it's also a little bit like painting, or writing. you kinda just have to go at it. whatever comes out is authentically yours. it doesn't have to be "technically skilled". my favorite pieces of art - written, drawn, or coded - have been the ones that embrace the rough-around-the-edges feeling they have already. you can envy other people's style, but it's not your style. you know? like, you're going for authenticity. i guess that might be why people are averse to using a premade template.
here's my secret, though: everyone learns from templates.
like, i learned all of my coding using work-around scripts for bbcode-based forum posts. i wanted little roleplay templates, like, decoration for my posts where i pretend to be other people or other animals. even before that, even if i can't properly remember the very beginnings of my coding, it's just something i picked up as a hobby and tinkered with every so often. and just like other passing interests, it makes its rounds.
hell, i used to do petz hexing. i tend to get inspired every couple years to go back and make more before i get... bored? or focused on something else. cycling interests have always been a part of my lifestyle, so things tend to come and go whenever and i try not to worry about the permanency of an interest. my friends describe me as an eclectic artist, and so ive claimed that label for myself.
on topic again, though, you dont need to reinvent the wheel. there's soooo many website layout makers out there. and i hear a lot of the same sorts of worries.
"what if my content isnt original?" who said content has to be unique or original? i used to read pokemon fansites that had the same information available (more or less). you can present it in new ways, or apply it in ways you like. whatever. and you dont have to specialize in one thing or pigeonhole yourself as a particular type of webmaster or archivist.
"what if my content isn't interesting to anyone because it's sooooo niche?" well, aside from the virtue of being made by you giving it value, think about it like this: if someone made a website about something they were passionate about, people would come to read it. because it'll have more detail than other places. because the author has such a fixation on this particular field that an audience could be enraptured for hours just learning about the intricacies. hell, people LOVE that sort of stuff on youtube. why not regular old website formats?
and of course, "what if i fuck up the code?" or "what if i get bored?" well, you don't have to keep going, nor do you have to do anything alone. like, there's tons of resources for new coders, and i figure if you can message someone on neocities about a similar feature they have that you want to implement, they can explain it to you. seriously - neocities users are another level of DIY. it isn't just 'do it yourself', it's 'do it together'. because shared knowledge is IMPORTANT!!!
if it takes a while, so what? there's no expiry date on making a website, or an expiry on whatever relevancy you'll have in your writing. if you get frustrated, take a break. the website won't explode if you put it down for a day or two. take breaks. do something fun, coding or otherwise. make what you wanna make.
agh. starting to feel like i am trying too hard to make some sort of "TUMBLR LET ME EXPLAIN TO YOU A THING" dialogue here. i always felt like that stuff was kind of overly patronizing.... so, uh, if it comes across that way, i don't mean it that way! i just like. yknow. i want to reach out a hand. there's places to go. there's things to learn. and i dont think you should give up because it's hard. and that's not even talking about coding.
a ship in the sea,