The sheer number of repos I have on GitHub containing blog themes in various states of repair is a testament to my personality. Despite having been writing on the internet for more than a decade, I am never happy with what I have and spend too much time messing around with things instead of pushing out posts. Others get these feelings too, something I am calling blog envy.
I look at blog designs like Birchtree.me and think to myself “I want a blog like that” and then go out and try to build one. Setting up a new local installation of Ghost, or WordPress, or whatever the thing at the time is I think I need to have. Of course, a few hours in I have something that looks somewhat like my inspiration but more like a cheap man's imitation. Importing posts and fixing things take a few more hours, when infact I should have spent those hours doing something more constructive.
There is no doubt that I have picked up some skills in doing this, a fact that was put to the test when building my new home, but it was still a lot of time wasted. I am often reminded of a post by Nitin Khanna that expanded on an idea by Jeff Perry. It is a post well worth reading, unfortunately the original inspiration has been lost to Jeff’s restless blog syndrome, but if you will allow me to paraphrase a little. It draws parallels between not wanting to ruin a nice, expensive notebook with subpar notes, to playing with your blog so much you never write on it. Something I know a little about!
I shouldn't beat myself up that much, but I see it in loads of others that spend money moving things about and getting nowhere apart from deeper in debt. Jealousy is not a bad emotion to have about the results of someone’s hard work and years’ worth of effort. However, the response is emulating the effort put in and not worry about the design or the way they do things. Not least because if you do finally achieve the emulation you desire, it won’t be yours anyway.
Spending hours creating a website is fine, if you have something to put on there in the first place. When creating this very website I tried out loads of awesome designs but when push came to shove they just didn’t reflect me. My blog is an extension of me, and I shouldn’t be jealous of others because they are not me.