Twenty twenty was supposed to be the year for all good things. The roarin’ 20’s we all were excited for! In the end, it was the year that everything fell apart, but also the year that everything came together in a new positive way.
I Broke It!
Last year, I had moved my blog back to Blogger where I thought I would be more comfortable writing amidst the chaos that was ensuing in the world. Instead, it just ended up breaking my email setup, my blog setup, and was not motivating at all. There was no easy way to blog on mobile, and usually my best ideas come together on my phone.
I loved Blogger for it’s simplicity, and thought if I went “back in time” I would find comfort of the old space and continue my writing journey. Welp, that didn’t happen. I blogged just a handful of times, and wondered why my inbox was all crickets since the early part of 2020.
I finally figured out that it my entire backend MX setup was broken when I started to reset passwords on my accounts as I do usually around the holidays and new year, and I couldn’t get into my photography website! Eeeek!
Luckily, Smugmug actually called me to update me on the issue, and it took some time, but I was able to get everything working once again. Sometimes I toy too much with backend things when moving my websites around, but I think I’ve found a solution once and for all below.
If you sent me an email to my (kate at katenesi.com) domain email in 2020, sorry, I truly didn’t get it. Fortunately, I didn’t use that email for too much other than a side hustle that ended in March, shortly before I moved my blog and broke everything. *throws hands in the air*
Self Imposed Quarantine
For all of 2020, I didn’t spend much time in any online space. Blogging wasn’t where I wanted to spend my time, but I did some private writing which was calming. I focused a lot of my time and attention on my family and friends who actively chose to stay connected during the year of the pandemic.
Friendships are a funny thing. I’ve grown from friendships, and I’ve learned a lot about myself and others. Some start randomly, some end randomly. This past year really provided a window into my friendships and taking note of those that faded away if I wasn’t the one to always initiate contact. Over time, I lessened my initiations and tried to give others space to make their own choice to connect.
Surprisingly, three friends actually became much closer friends through this all, reaching out to meet up for safe outdoor walks or hikes, or even calling to chat. I was honored that someone would want to “risk” spending time with me safely outdoors and social distanced. That meant a lot in one of the hardest years of my life.
One friend was so lovely. She and I were both tired of texting, typing, and video calls. So, we just chatted like old friends on the phone, sometimes for an hour or so. It felt unusual, but so awesome at the same time. I forgot how much I missed just “talking on the phone” with the past decade mainly being texting focused. I even made a few phone calls, too.
I cannot wait to get back out to dinners and shows with friends, maybe even travel, too! Yes, I, an introvert, just said I cannot wait to go make plans to go out and do more with other people 😀
Twenty-twenty was supposed to be a big year of travel for me. I was supposed to go to North Carolina for a wedding the week the state shut down, I planned my first in forever solo trip to NYC for Peloton’s annual event, then we were supposed to go to Legoland which hasn’t opened yet, and so much more. Lots in store for the coming years for sure!
Overall, I still felt the familiar ache in my heart to write, to share, to grow, and explore. I had locked down my Instagram for the past year, not sharing other than random stories about workouts or funny life events, and pretty much left the online space. I wasn’t sure if I’d want to return, share photos, or exist outside of the physical in-person world.
Everything seemed so bleak and spiraling downard. I ended up struggling with a few health problems in the fall that didn’t help either.
Then, in the past month as I went through every online account, updated information, deleted unused apps, and fixed my email conundrum, I felt invigorated to start again as I have so many times before. My energy returned.
The next question was, now what?
What I’ve Changed
First, I decided to move my top level domain (katenesi.com) back to my photography website, and refresh with a new WordPress blog setup. I had gotten used to WordPress for the past few years, so going back to Blogger felt dated and a little too blah for me. It didn’t have the effect I was hoping for.
Second, I’ve started using an app called iA Writer on my laptop, tablet, and phone. It has made writing fun again, private, and a space for free flow writing as I enjoyed when I used a website called “750 words” many a moon ago.
Third, we moved our hosting plans, so I no longer have to worry about keeping WP updated on the backend, which caused me a lot of frustration on a regular basis with plugins, etc. In addition, the self-hosted WP was super slow when writing and no matter how much I reset everything, it just never improved.
Fortunately, moving my main domain back to Smugmug (which I will never stop hosting with, as I backup all of our images there) leaves the door open to one day returning to a photography side hustle as my children age and I have a bit more free time for creativity.
In addition, with blogging through Blogger way back in 2009, then moving to self-hosted WordPress in 2016, and then back to Blogger, and then to WordPress… I lost all of my post images and connections. Argh! You’ll be happy that I do have all of my old posts from 2012-present pending on this blog to republish after reviewing/updating them. (My 2009-2012 writings are in printed books in my attic.)
Now, I found I can setup a good workflow of images from my website to my blog, and if I ever (hopefully not!) move my blog host again, those URLs will work fluidly within the XML file and not be trashed when moving since they’ll be in one organized space. At least, I would hope so.
Deciding to return to WP was something I wasn’t sure I was going to want to do, but their hosting keeps it simple and I can use their desktop app for writing, or easily copy over my writing from iA Writer to get posts published.
So far, it’s been a far better workflow.
If you’ve read this far…
Thanks for sticking around. It’s going to take time to rebuild and build back better than before. I’m okay with that. I’ve changed my focus with writing so much over the past 14 years that it’s just what I’m used to. I started out blogging about running on Konamoxt in 2007, then it became Sweat365, then I moved to Blogger in 2009, jumped over to WordPress in 20016 and expanded to writing about photography, added personal finance, family, cooking, and the like. Podcasting, not podcasting, considering podcasting anew.
How do you keep up? I’m surely a Jack of All Trades and quite like it that way.
I’m always exploring, growing and learning. Hopefully with the blog back in it’s longer term home (blog.katenesi.com) it’ll be easier for you to find, follow, and share your thoughts, too!
Hello, World! as they say.