A new coat of paint

Elf in tree, Port Macquarie Town Green

Elf in tree, Port Macquarie Town Green

You might have noticed things look a little different around here. I wouldn't blame you if you haven't. With the pitiful rate I've been firing off posts over the last 12 months I wouldn't expect anyone to bookmark this site. But on the off chance you have noticed the mjhearle.com design overhaul here's the reason why.

When I first started this blog there weren't many platforms to choose from. Wordpress was the most popular and most visible so I went with that despite having zero HTML or coding experience. As time went on and I got a little better playing with web code I tried to apply a little design thinking to the site. But it was always difficult. It seemed as soon as I bought and activated a plugin to make my site flashier or more functional said plugin would become obsolete. Wordpress prompted me to update constantly. Sometimes my layout would just break and I didn't know why? This troubled me.

And then I started seeing ads for Squarespace. Squarespace promised a hassle-free web experience, including a simple, yet powerful, drag and drop interface and full 24-hour IT support. You could make your site look however you liked and not worry about breaking it and even if you did break it Squarespace would be around to fix it for you.

So I took the plunge, killed my old Wordpress site and fired up a new Squarespace build. What took me weeks using Wordpress I was able to complete within hours with Squarespace. My site looks better than it ever has and works across every conceivable device and browser. Undoubtedly, the change was worth it.

Still, a cool-looking site doesn't mean anything if there's no content to support it. And so here I am typing this – the first of what will hopefully be a semi-regular or at least more regular series of posts. After all this time I still haven't quite figured out how to use this blog format but in the interest of being prolific, I'm going to treat it like a journal. Fire off thoughts, notions, ideas, musings, ramblings – basically whatever comes to mind – with minimal self-editing. The photography used in the header images will be my own and more often than not disconnected from the post's content. Discipline and tonal consistency are necessary for long form writing projects like novels and screenplays. I want to abandon those notions here. This is a place for experimentation. For play.

I'll keep my (slightly) more organised thoughts for the newsletter which you can sign up to below. The newsletter format will more or less remain unchanged, ie still be a catalogue of the various media that entertained me for the week while 'I should have been writing'. With so much content being uploaded to streaming platforms it's harder than ever to figure what's worth your time and what isn't. Hopefully, the newsletter might help separate some of the wheat from the chaff. At the very least you'll get a pretty transparent look into what I dig and what I don't and be able to judge me accordingly.

As always thank you for continued support. Try and stay out the heat (if you're with me down in the Southern Hemisphere) or, if you're somewhere cold, find someone to keep you warm and stay close. The journey is better shared together.


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