Celebrate by Writing

My birthday is coming up soon so it’s that time of the year when friends start reaching out and asking where they should fly to and how we’re going to celebrate.

After a good run in the post-vaccinated-and-boosted part of 2020 that felt relatively “normal”, including traveling almost 200k miles, I’m going back into a pretty locked-down state of things. Omicron has just been catching too many friends and loved ones, even with fairly careful measures and testing. So what’s happening on January 11th?

What I’m asking for my birthday is for people to blog!

Whether professionally on WP.com, socially on Tumblr, or privately journaling with Day One, there’s never been a better time to stop being a passive consumer of the internet and join the class of creators.

Write for a single person. Share something cool you found. Summarize your year. Set a blogging goal with reminders. Get a Gutenberg-native theme and play around with building richer posts. Start a nom de plume. Answer daily prompts on Day One. Forget the metaverse, let’s hang out in the blogosphere. Get your own domain!

If you’re a close friend that feels intimidated by the software at all or that you don’t know where to start, I’m happy to hop on a Zoom to go through everything on a screen share. That will also be a great learning for me for places we can improve things, which is also a fantastic gift!

28 thoughts on “Celebrate by Writing

    1. Hi Jim, we’ve released a number of free themes from Automattic that are focused on blogging/writing, I’ve linked them below;

      – Quadrat https://wordpress.org/themes/quadrat/
      – Geologist https://wordpress.org/themes/geologist/
      – Videomaker https://wordpress.org/themes/videomaker/
      – Zoologist https://wordpress.org/themes/zoologist/
      – Seedlet Blocks https://wordpress.org/themes/seedlet-blocks/

      These are all ready for the next WordPress release (5.9), but another one you should consider will be released with 5.9 as the default theme;

      – Twenty Twenty Two https://2022.wordpress.net/

      There are also some really good themes from other theme authors that I like;

      – Tove https://wordpress.org/themes/tove/
      – Aino https://wordpress.org/themes/aino/
      – Ona https://wordpress.org/themes/ona/
      – Clove https://wordpress.org/themes/clove/
      – Frost https://github.com/wpengine/themes/tree/trunk/frost

      Hope that helps, let me know which ones you like!

      1. Hi Jeffikus, I really like the design of the themes created by Automattic. However I found that some of the newer themes have a bigger Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) score (on GTmetrix and Pagespeed Insight) than the older themes. I would like to know, is there a plan to fix the CLS score? thanks.

      2. Thanks Jeffikus!

        Of the above, I do like Quadrat, Geologist, Ona and Frost. I will download them and give them a try.

        Do Gutenberg themes work with a three column layout? Something like: http://nically.tech

        One other question, if I may: is there a way to theme the Gutenberg editor?

        I would love to use the editor with a dark theme. Right now, the editor is glaringly white. I’ve tried a few dark mode plugins, but they don’t work with the editor, or they look bad. Any ideas?

      3. Hi Jim,

        > Do Gutenberg themes work with a three column layout?

        Yes they do! 🙂 You don’t necessarily need to take a theme that is designed to have 3 columns to get that result. You can use the “columns” block in the editor to achieve that, I made an example here https://3columnexample.wordpress.com/ where you can get the code from the 3rd column by clicking the “Get the Code” button. I split the 3 columns 25% 50% 25%

        > I would love to use the editor with a dark theme.

        The full site editing experience is designed to be like you are editing your live site, rather than just the content. What this means is that if your theme is white, or dark, or another color, then the editing experience will be in those colors.

        A good example is 2 in of our themes, Videomaker and Videomaker White. Videomaker will have a dark editor like what you are wanting, as the theme design is dark, but the Videomaker White theme would be a white editing experience as the theme design is white 🙂

        You can change this by editing your sites global styles, here’s a screenshot of where you can edit the colors for your theme: https://cloudup.com/cMrgWtdOni4

        I hope that answers your questions!

      4. Hi Iqbal

        > I really like the design of the themes created by Automattic.

        Thank you for the kind words! 🙂

        > I would like to know, is there a plan to fix the CLS score?

        Thanks for bringing this to our attention, I’ll bring this up with our team and we’ll do our best to improve this in the future.

  1. Happy Birthday Matt. I’m feeling really embarrassed. I hadn’t heard of Day One until reading this post in my email. Sounds interesting as it’s been a decade since I journaled “privately”. Looking into it now…

    1. I would love for Tumblr and Day One to be open source in the future. Taking something proprietary and opening it is 100x harder than just being open from the beginning, so it’s not going to happen overnight, but in the meantime we are making sure both products have super open APIs, privacy, and user ownership of data so your content is as free as in WordPress even if the software isn’t (yet).

  2. When I use to blog on WP.com I wrote every blog post with you in mind as I found it was the least scary way to share my dumb WordPress ideas. I decided to pick blogging back up this year but I gotta wait until the Super Mario Bros 3 inspired theme is done 🙂 .

      1. Don’t worry it will be done soon. I find it so hard to get excited about blogging with a boring theme. Blogging is such a personal thing, it’s a physical representation of your soul. A clean & minimal theme with boring typography is like living in a house with white walls with nothing on them.

  3. would love to resume writing on wordpress, but can’t find the time right now. keep up your good work!

  4. I’ve been using Day One for a few months now and had no idea that there were daily prompts! Sadly, I just checked and saw that it’s not (yet?) available on Android, but hopefully soon. :fingerscrossed:

  5. I have been reducing the amount of time spent on social media and returned to the good old days of blogging, not as often though, but at least once a month in my busy adult life.

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