The Journal

27th of February, 2024


I've spent the last few days bunkering down and working on my site, one that I started only a month or so ago, and I couldn't be more relieved to finally have something out soon. Two years! Two whole years my site has been a "watch this space" type of screen. And it's not as though I haven't tried real damn hard to fix that many times before now, if I were to go through my files I'd probably find four or five half-finished attempts at this. I had art block for sites, basically, I felt very burnt out.

There were a couple issues I had to figure out for myself, really. One, who was I making my site for, because it didn't seem to be for myself. I am always a "visuals first" kind of person, and that's hard when my understanding of HTML and CSS aren't particularly great and anything outside of that, such as Javascript, is completely nonexistent. It meant that I hit roadblocks head on quite often, stuff just didn't do what I wanted it to and it almost always ended in a dead end of "that won't work.", or the solution was something outside of my skill level and I'd have to rely on my boyfriend's work to get it functional, which in turn would make it harder for me to do upkeep, and was just a bit of an embarrassing thing to have to do. Not that he hasn't always been supportive and understanding and happy to explain whatever to me, it's just that it stopped necessarily feeling like my site? I dunno.

Something I realised at some point or another too was that I'd taken conversations about correct, functional, flexible HTML to heart. My friend group leans fairly heavily on the technical side and they're fantastic at that sort of thing, and I remember excitement over things like flex boxes that I still cannot wrap my head around... But again, it was never really aimed at me, no one was telling me to fix my weird HTML or make my stuff work on mobile or old computers or whatever. I just really wanted to impress people. And Cammy's said to me, like, what impressed people about my sites was what I could bring to the table, my art. No one's looking at the HTML under the bonnet and making fun of it.

It all feels especially silly now too, because the group's shifted more towards older HTML to make things functional on older systems, meaning my go-tos of static, non-responsive site designs and lots of tables are now a whole lot more common.. It was never a bad thing, just different.

My brain has never quite worked the way folks wanted it to, I remember in high school I couldn't for the life of me remember my times tables, but I could do weird strings of addition to reach the same answer fairly quickly. Why say 8x7=56 when I can say 8x10=80, 80/2=40, 40+(8x2)=56. My teachers hated me, but I did end up passing maths... Anyway, what I mean is that's how I end up looking at HTML and CSS, it's a patchwork of things that account for the areas where I just go blank. It's a little funky. And I was, without really realising it, trying to do things "the right way", and just confusing and frustrating myself. There's no glory in suffering and all I did was scare myself away from making sites.

An example of this would be my avoidance of divs, which I genuinely cannot explain. I used to use them a lot, and then I just stopped. In the creation of this site, I spent a few hours trying to figure out how to put the guinea pig house into a table so that I could have hover images, and it was just not working. It was always off, and I felt like giving up. That telltale frustration and upset once again, the thing that put me off building sites for so long. But then I remembered divs! Boom, got the whole thing done in like 20 minutes. It's ridiculous. And it even worked in Retrozilla, what the hell. The hover images don't but I'm just happy it's functional on there.

So yeah, I'm working on a site again! And it's working! And I'm excited for the final product! Genuinely so relieved, and I hope folks like it too...

PS: Many many thankyous to the boyf, for supporting and encouraging me throughout, and for helping me figure this whole thing out <3

cabybaba typing on a laptop

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