First post with Gutenberg

This is the beginning of the next chapter of publishing. I’ve been feeling relatively stagnant online recently, as a lack of recent blog posts shows. There hasn’t been anything I’ve been excited to learn, and with other interests becoming more of a priority, technology has taken a back seat.

Writing with the new Gutenberg experience, I feel inspired to learn something new. While there is a constant pressure to keep up with “the latest thing” in technology, this direction feels like more of a paradigm shift in the core of how WordPress will function in the future, and not just a fad.

I’ve gone back and edited some of my previous posts to learn how some of the content blocks work. You may seem some visual changes to various content types such as images and videos. I also started using a new theme to take advantage of some of the new features, and it just felt like the right time for a new design for this space.

It’s Not Perfect

At first, I was hesitant to test Gutenberg, because I’m not a fan of drag-and-drop designing. I’m a bit worried it will make a lot of websites look the same (more than they already do) and design will take a backseat to content creation. I guess trends are unavoidable.

I have noticed a few issues on the backend while writing that are not fully functional yet, but overall the experience has been an easy transition. For instance, the Preview button doesn’t work unless I first manually save my changes, otherwise , the preview page just shows the message below:

Please wait…

Generating preview.

Since it’s still a work in progress, I’m sure these minor issues will be worked out before the official release.

The Good Stuff

The blocks are intuitive both in creating and editing them, and it’s easy to move things around as you play with the layout. Once you figure out where everything is in the new editor, the experience of virtually front-end editing is quite efficient.

The editor is miles ahead of the WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editor that hasn’t really changed much in the last decade within WordPress. There still may be a temptation for some people to spend too much time over-designing the layout, but it doesn’t really distract me from the writing process.

Overall, I’m happy to say I’m glad I finally jumped on the Gutenberg train and am excited to see where it goes. Even in the early stages of development, I see a lot of potential for the future of digital publishing.

The Way the World Works

I’ve been thinking about why I expect to succeed in something I put a lot of time and energy into, and have realized a few things.

I learned from a young age that with hard work and maybe a little bit of luck (right place, right time kind of stuff), you (meaning me obviously) WILL be successful. If you’re not, it’s because you need to work harder or longer, or both. I viewed success as the predetermined outcome of an equation that could be performed.

So many books have been written by successful people, and have been read by so many more people, so why isn’t everyone successful?

Because that’s not how the world works.

Working harder, smarter, or being more talented doesn’t guarantee anything. No one actually knows a proven method for success because it doesn’t exist. In reality, priviledge and luck play a much larger factor than most of us realize. Where we are born, our economic status, the color of our skin, gender, and many other factors give some of us a major headstart and even put some people right before the “finish line” of success.

A few people will also get lucky and rise up from being underpriviledged, but not everyone can succeed that way. So many success stories begin with someone having parents who worked multiple jobs to support their children, and that’s great for the children who learn a good work ethic and are able to benefit from that opportunity. But what about the parents? Is their success determined or measured by the success of their offspring?

I guess what I’m learning is that having goals and measuring progress can be useful tools. But ultimately, how we gauge success (or whether or not something is “worth doing”) can only be measured internally by our own level of satisfaction in doing that thing.

Does that thing make us happy? If it does, is that what makes it worth doing? Is happiness the ultimate goal? What about money, fame, power, legacy, or influence? How do we decide what’s important?

How do we know what will make us happy or ultimately satisfied, when we’re old enough to look back at our lives and wonder if anything we did matters? This is the question that drives me. I’ll let you know the answer if blogs are still a thing in 50 years.

Learning React

New Year, New Language!

After recently finishing the Front End Web Development track, I was initially looking into learning Ruby next. However, I think React will be good to learn first (although I’m not sure I can explain why).

In any case, I like the feeling of starting with a clean slate.