Today was a bit of a milestone in my recovery from the stroke – I started back to work. Not full-time, mind you. On the advice of my Occupational Therapist, I’m starting back on reduced hours for a couple of weeks.

To say it was weird would be an understatement. In the time that I’ve been away a lot has changed. The company completed a merger and subsequent rebranding; moved office to a much bigger (lots of stairs… yay), much nicer building; and a lotof new people have started to work there.

On top of that, I had to use a PC for the first time in 4 months. Every 5 minutes I had to correct myself before I issued a OS X keystroke command that would possibly have spelt disaster for whatever I was working on at the time.

Footnotes seem to be all the rage at the moment. While some other CMS may require a plugin to get them working, we Textpattern users have been able to create them since day 1. However, the problem with the footnotes Textpattern generates, is that once you’re down there, you have to manually scroll back up the page o where you were. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have “return links” like at Daring Fireball? Well, it’s easy enough to do and requires only a minor change to the code1. Simply change the following two lines of code to read as below:

475: $content = '<sup>' . $fns<sup><a href="#fn1" id="fn1-link">1</a></sup> . '</sup> ' . $content ."<a href="#fn$fns<sup><a href="#fn1" id="fn1-link">1</a></sup>-link">↩</a>";

729: '<sup><a href="#fn$1" id="fn$1-link">$1</a></sup>$2', $text);

1 Note that I’m still running RC3 on this site, so line numbers might be slightly out compared to 4.02

2 Update – in TXP 4.0, these lines are 482 and 736 respectively.

I’ll start this one by quoting a comment I made over on Joshuaink –

I go through phases where I don’t feel a lot of enthusiasm for my blog. Usually, I find this is an indicator that I’m fed-up of the design… strange as it may sound, I find the design of my site dictates the type of thing I want to/feel I have to write about. When I launched the current design, I went through a phase where I felt that I had to write “professional”-style posts on web development techniques… but that’s not really something I can write about for long. It’s like taking your work home with you – you soon get fed-up and pissed off.
I guess my point on that is that a design can not only influence a visitors perception of your site, but your own. Yeah, something like that…

I’ve added my own emphasis to the important bits.

Until yesterday, this wasn’t really something I thought too much about. I think (as a web developer) I get too wrapped up in how I think others perceive my blog (including the design) to remember the number one reason to blog – as a personal form of expression. Our blogs are for (usually) for ourselves and I think it is something many of us forget. Maybe it’s why some of us take criticism of our blogs so badly.

A blogger is a writer, and a writer needs inspiration. One of the closest and easiest sources of inspiration to hand, is our own blogs. The problem is, I think many of us (and I count myself here) try too hard to please and impress others. Particularly the “showcase” sites (Stylegala, etc) perhaps, but that’s another rant.

In a post over at Binary Bonsai, Michael Heilemann acknowledges his site design influences his writing and for that reason he is currently having trouble with inspiration/motivation. He specifically mentions I need to carve out a more personalized space for me to feel at home – this is exactly how I am feeling at the moment.

Do you also feel you have to write about certain subjects or with a certain writing style, due to the design of your blog?