How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Make My Site With VuePress

Do you know that gripping paralysis that strikes when you're trying to do something that really matters to you. It's like no matter what you try, it all seems wrong. This is what I go through every time I try to make my site.

Early on I'd debate whether to use Wordpress or a custom Vue site. I love Vue and I hate Wordpress. Not absolutely, of course, but approximately.

Wordpress has its ups. It has a community of plugins and templates and it's tried and true. It just gives me a sinking feeling every time I have to do something custom to it. And while I love making just about anything with Vue, when I tried to make my blog and an app for posting with it, it was so clunky that everytime I tried to write a post I'd spend 20% of my time on the post and 80% on fixing the app or blog. Meanwhile I'd be wondering, "Why am I spending so much time making this damn thing?"

With the release of VuePress I promised myself I'd make my site with it. For months now I've had a work in progress on my local, but no matter what I try, I just can't get it to make sense. How do I oranize the content in the sidebar? What kind of content do I post on my site? I like to write about a variety of things. Do I make more VuePress sites? I started, and had the same trouble with them, just compounding the whole issue. In the end, what had started as a dreamy endeavour had turned into a nightmarish pursuit.

The Real Dilemma

Obviously, the issue wasn't a matter of getting things right. I haven't been able to do it because I've been scared. In truth, I'm terrified to share the things that fascinate me online. The internet can be a scary place where many will forgo common courtesies to express themeselves without inhibition. Put simply I've been scared of hearing, "That's stupid," which sounds kinda stupid, I know, but that hasn't stopped it from stopping me.

This fear keeps me from publishing, that is from sharing things I love and believe in. This fear separates me from the world, making me feel lonely. I realize this whole post may seem way more vulnerable than necessary, but in truth, it needs to be so. Until now I've been trying to protect myself, and I've been stuck because of it. I've been trying to write about anything other than what is alive inside of me, and so my writings have been dead.

Here's what I love about the idea of using VuePress...

  • Simple content creation that works for me. i.e. writing markdown files in my code editor of choice (vim)
  • Version control my content with Git
  • Infinite future potential for customization with Vue
  • Imagining it can be a real alternative to Wordpress
  • Getting people I know that are frustrated with Wordpress to switch over
  • Using it as an opportunity to teach those same people how to program
  • Contributing to an open source group I believe in

Here are some of my fears around using VuePress...

  • I'll realize I can't do something I want with it because I'm using the tool for something other than what it's meant for
  • I'll realize that managing my content as a bunch of markdown files in folders on Git is more of a pain in the ass than I thought
  • Not being able to demonstrate its potential to the people I want to share it with, or being unable to teach them how to program
  • That it won't work out and I'll have to start over. i.e. that I'll have wasted my time

All these fears are just excuses getting in the way of doing what I want. They also unfold out of an inner uncertainty I have in myself. I can't reason my way out of them. Even if I were to thwart them one by one, 2 more would pop up for each one. As Eckhart Tolle would say, they are just problems created by the mind and for the mind, and they block me from what really matters, the original love that inspired me to get into it to begin with.

Getting Over It

So here's what I decided...

Fuck it!

Instead of figuring out how to set this up right, which apparently I've been stuck on, I'm daring to take the opposite approach. To start wrong. To make something so bare bones, so basic, so against the grain of what my aesthetic instincts say I should do, that obviously I won't keep it, but through which I can get moving. My fears may turn out to be legitimate concerns, but I can't figure that out from where I am. It's better to get the ball rolling and figure it out as I go, lest I be stuck here forever.

Now because I already know it's "wrong", I don't need to ask if it's right, so I don't need to get stuck on that question. Because it's simple it requires minimal investment, and drastically reduces the amount of decisions I have to make to set it up so that I can focus on what really matters, and that's sharing.

If you're curious about how I started it, here it is in code...

mkdir mmi && cd mmi
vim README.md
vuepress build
# script to upload it

Thankfully, Vue makes minimal setups easy by default. I did take extra time to link my resume to the nav since it's an important part for every developer's site. And yes, I added it to Git. But other than that, I'm letting go of what I think is right or wrong to open up to the process of doing and discovery.

A warrior doesn't give up on what he loves. He finds the love in everything he does. -The Peaceful Warrior