Being Comfortable In Your Own Skin

I think I’ve finally settled on a template that looks okay and behaves pretty much the way I want it to.  I prefer a serif font, but oh well.  And I prefer the versatility of being able to manipulate my template as you can do in Blogger, but again, oh well.  And why is any of this important?  If we truly blog because we have something to say…something we want to share with cherished visitors…why does any of this matter anyway?  Well, to me, it’s all about being comfortable in your own skin, so to speak.

I’m sure if I had the chance to meet any of you in person and I arrived on your doorstep in faded jeans and tee shirt, disheveled hair, and dirty fingernails, you’d probably welcome me just the same as if I’d arrived in more appropriate attire.  But would I?  No, of course not.  That’s a little bit how I view the way my blog looks — it feels like a representation of myself, whether it is or it isn’t in the eyes of my readers.  So, I fiddle and fuss and change this and adjust that until I’m comfortable in my own skin.

In a post that’s very popular at the moment on Poor Richard’s Almanac, Our Friend Ben says:  “If it were just about the writing, we could all write our little essays and save them to our Word archives. What makes blogging fun is the interaction, the response we get to our blog posts.” Isn’t that why the majority of us blog?  That we might, in some small way, give our readers information, or simply something to ponder, a reason to pause, whether that be in the form of a long essay or a simple photograph?

I’m starting to find my way around WordPress — and starting to feel comfortable in my own skin.  How about you?  Is the appearance or feel of your blog important to YOU?  Do you really care how YOU feel while you’re there, or is your blog simply a means to an end?  Do you think it’s important to your readers?  I’m interested to hear your opinions!


Author: nancybond

A writer, photographer, naturalist from small town Nova Scotia, Canada.

25 thoughts on “Being Comfortable In Your Own Skin”

  1. Nancy .. this is an interesting question. I’m not totally comfortable in my blog skin .. I want to have more input with how it appears and I am thinking of WordPress too. I love your header picture .. the colours are so appealing to me.
    I would feel more relaxed about letting you in while you were disheveled .. dirty fingernails and all girl ! LOL
    I think everyone of us view our blogs as a little piece of ourselves out in the open with all the lights on .. so people who aren’t completely comfortable with themselves in real life could go two ways .. one being totally comfortable with your individual blog appearance or two .. always in flux .. that is me ! haha
    Very interesting post and question !

  2. Good point, Joy. We do put ourselves out there for the world to see, and I think our blogs reflect a lot about who we are, or, perhaps even more interesting is what they reflect about who we *aren’t*. You sparked that thought when you said that the header colors appealed to you — they do to me, as well. I love bright colors, in most things, including the garden. Yet, my life would be considered pretty “drab” by many. I’m a rather introspective person — I have a tendency to “internalize” everything. Yet, when choosing colors for something as simple as a blog header, I almost always go for the bright and vibrant. Though, now that I think of it, the boat header I had for so long on my Blogger Soliloquy was rather muted and shadowy. Hmm. Maybe I’m just fluxed, too! Hee! Thanks for your input.

  3. I briefly switched to WordPress because of the feed problem. I was impressed at how quick it was to import all the posts, but after like eight minutes I decided I liked blogger better. :/ and I sheepishly deleted it….If I ever start a second blog I would do it right from the start with WordPress. If I had only known WordPress offers free blogs.

  4. I’ve done the same thing myself a few times. I even had all posts transferred over a couple of times, and then changed my mind. But after the recent Blotanical feed problems, I took a deep breath and dove in. :) I’m liking it very much now.

  5. I started to switch too Nancy, but I really prefer blogger. It is so much more user friendly, of course it’s the only program I’ve ever used too. :) I love your new header, very fall appropriate and your setup looks great.

  6. Now that I’m here, I believe I prefer WP over Blogger. It has some pretty nifty features, once you know what they are. I guess it’s like most anything…there are always a few growing pains. :)

  7. Hi Nancy, you were the inspiration that gave me the courage to DO IT! I did move my blog to wordpress, have done a posting, had some comments and was even able to get the blogroll up, but that is the only thing on my sidebar. Nothing is as simple as on blogger, but it is faster! I am still not showing up , yet, on the 200 fave posts, and did change the url’s in my plot my blogs. Did it take a couple of days? I will be watching you for new stuff and then ask you how you did it! Hope that you don’t mind. You seem like a whiz already!

  8. They say you can’t put new wine in old wineskins. Seems like your wine will do quite nicely in its new skin. I try to freshen my site up a bit from time to time, but I’m enjoying using Blogger so I think I will stay with it. I haven’t commented on your blog for a while. I’m glad I stopped by and found your new place.

  9. Nancy – I feel that my blog is a representation of me and it matters to me how it looks and feels – even though it is a gardening blog – it somehow represents me as an artist.

    Of course – I think this is a wonderful template – (it is the same one that I use :) Your header is lovely – as is your avatar.

    That is one of the joys of blogging – although folk may start off with the same template – what they post – the images they use – what they choose to put in their sidebars, these are the things that can make a blog individual, these are the things that may give a more three dimensional perspective of the blog author.

    I like wordpress – and I do hope that you continue to enjoy it. I am actually in the process of trying to self host a wordpress blog – but whether it actually “goes live” is another matter.

  10. Frances – I’m sure you’ll get all the bugs ironed out eventually…sometimes, with me at least, it’s just a matter of trial and error until I make things work. :) Your blog looks wonderful!

    Karen – thanks for your comments. I do think that our blogs are, at least in some part, a representation of who we are – and yes, it is the differences in our tastes and designs that makes our blogs individual. I think WP is going to be a good fit now that I’ve explored a bit.

    W2W! How great of you to stop by and thanks for your kind words. I hope you’ll come back often. :)

  11. Hi Nancy,
    When I started blogging over a year ago with my knitting blog I first went with Blogger but quickly switched to WordPress. I never looked back either as I love all the things you can do with WP. I love your gravatar! I turned them off on my blog awhile back as no one really has one. Karen (An Artist’s Garden) was the only one with one leaving comments. Seeing your pretty gravatar makes me want to turn my gravatars back on!

    I also love the colors in your header. They are very soothing.

  12. I like your new blog design, and your header picture is a particularly joyful view of fall.
    I use wordpress for my blog, too. I had a lot of fun creating the theme for it, but spent way too much time doing it. There is a great deal of customization that you can do with WordPress. Another plus is that there are some good anti-spam plugins available.

  13. Cynthia – thanks so much for stopping by and for your generous comments. Your blog is lovely – your template is so pretty and soothing. And the title suits perfectly.

  14. Nancy-
    I’m totally in agreement about trying to be comfortable in your own skin, and trying to find what works best for you.

    I spend (probably) way too much time futzing with the position of photos, etc. trying to make my blog post reflect what I’d like to say. And, I often feel frustrated with the limitations of the templates, etc. compared to page layout programs.

    But the beauty of blogs and templates is that it’s delightfully easy, too. And, even though I do think about my blog as an on-line garden journal, I’m also sharing my garden and thoughts with other like-minded folks, and am always pleased to have comments. So, I think the idea that the interaction is the key to blogging isn’t far off.


  15. I definitely think blogs are reflections of ourselves. I don’t think they can be anything else since they are so personal. When I first started blogging, I had no idea anyone would ever read my little on-line journal (except maybe my family) so I was kind of cavalier about the content. Now that it’s been such a pleasant surprise to develop “relationships” with other gardeners/designers, I put even more thought into it. Maybe sometimes too much since I spend way more time on the computer than I should!! Congrats on your blog switch, it looks great.

  16. Late to the party but I must comment about this. I used to struggle with creating the perfect “garden blog” or “photo blog” or whatever, but eventually gave in to a random pattern of thought and images. I have found that I enjoy making my blog a peaceful place of reflection, with the occasional smattering of fun and family. It’s really for me, anyway. I’m not selling anything, nor do I want to compete for any points or comments. Once I dropped that stress – and it was a stress I placed on myself – I began to enjoy the process. That’s my .02 for today!

    I couldn’t agree more, Debi. My life is a random pattern of thoughts and images, so why wouldn’t my blog reflect that as well? :) I couldn’t blog if I didn’t enjoy it — and it’s clear that you enjoy yours!

  17. I believe the look of one’s blog definitely matters. It’s like putting a nice bench with bright pillows and a beautiful potted plant on the front porch. It invites readers in, and it gives you a happy feeling when you arrive at home yourself.

    Your new template looks great, by the way. Clean and classy.

    Thanks, Pam! I agree with you — as I mentioned in another comment, it’s like wanting to give your visitors a comfy place to sit for the duration of their visit.

  18. Hi Nancy, your new blog looks great! I toy with the thought of switching, but dread it at the same time. It’s a non-issue right now, as I just can’t carve out enough time to do it. I hope Stuart finds a solution to the feed problem.

    Your new header is gorgeous!

    Thanks so much, Linda! I’m sure Stuart will figure things out – he always does. :) I do like WP very much though, and it’s easy as pie to switch over.

  19. Your new look is terrific, and I love the header. How you say something is as important as how you say it, and a well-selected blog design is as important as choosing your tone of voice when you talk to someone.

    I started out on WordPress last fall and I liked a lot of what it had to offer. They offered interesting templates. One down-side is that the gardening community there isn’t as well-developed as what you find at Blogger. So starting out there was a little…quiet. But you’ve developed a supportive community around you, and there are sites like Blotanical that can assist others in finding you.

    I ended up using the WordPress software on my own web site. Doing so gave me a lot more control over all the look-and-feel details of my pages. (And it’s just as free as hosting your blog on WordPress proper.) It’s a bit more work, and requires more technical futzing, but is surprisingly straightforward. But it all does take more time, and working at a site where you you don’t have to worry about all that gives you lots more time to concentrate on content.

    Happy blogging in your new skin!

    Hey James, thanks for stopping by! I’ve considered going the .org route; it’s not nearly as expensive as I thought it would be either. We’ll see how this one works out, I guess. I liked what you said about your choice of blog design being like your tone of voice, and I agree.

  20. My blogging started out being somewhat of a history of how gardening became so important to me and important to my husband as well, and it was written for my girls. I also wrote it as a journal of sorts for me to look back on. I always kept diaries as a young girl. But as time went on and I began to get comments from other bloggers and I discovered the world of garden blogs, it evolved into a more public affair.

    I never dreamed I would make the friends I have through blogging. Nor would I have guessed that so many would read what I have to say.

    Sometimes my posts are directed at gardeners in general and sometimes they are personal and I let the whole world eavesdrop. As far as my template – I have always loved messing with graphics and it’s fun to have a new look every now and then!

    I agree, Kylee! A change is as good as a rest, so they say. I’ve been blogging since 2004 (I had another Soliloquy that Blogger’s “new beta version” ate) and my blog started out as a rather boorish day-to-day journal…much more like a personal diary. I hope I’m a little more focused now, with a mix of garden and personal posts.

  21. I use wordpress and find it fairly easy to neogitate. I agree that my blog is a reflection of me and what matters to me. I want to share my experiences whether its visiting a garden or trying to germinate some seeds with other likeminded folk and I love it when people comment back. Its even better when a post it popular, as this one is, and prompts a debate.

    Hello PG! I’m so glad to have your visit. I agree…a civil debate on any topic is always stimulating and always welcome, on this blog at least. ;)

  22. I’m definitely comfortable in my own skin, my Blogger skin, that is. I was fretting over the possibility of making a change. I didn’t want to. I love the look of my blog the way it is.
    My sister changed her furniture around constantly. I never do. I draw things out decide the very best way, the way that is most pleasing to me and I never change it. Different strokes for different folks. There is just something very comforting to me about familiarity. How boring is that!

    Great thought provoking post!

    Hi Robin — I know what you mean about liking it where you are. I saved my Blogger blog, just in case, and may return to it yet. I used to rearrange my bedroom all the time when I was a kid/teen. It used to drive my mother nuts! And it’s funny, but I’ve often pondered why I did that…why I was never satisfied to leave it a certain way for more than a week or so. Interestink!

  23. Hi Nancy! I, too, love the look of your blog—how marvelously autumnal, but clean and friendly at the same time—congratulations! We love WordPress and have been very happy with it, but of course we’re Luddites so we can’t really compare techno-features with Blogger. It just strikes us as much more visitor-friendly, since it doesn’t make readers jump through hoops to cooment the way Blogger does. Thanks so much for the link to our (pitifully plain-looking) blog, and for this thought-provoking post.

I appreciate and welcome your comments!

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