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Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Check Out My New Look

It’s hard to stand out from the crowd—particularly when it comes to blogs. Well, it’s not too hard but it does require a bit of additional work.

“US research think-tank Pew Internet & American Life says a blog is created every 5.8 seconds, although less than 40% of the total are updated at least once every two months.” With literally millions of blogs, how do you stand out from the crowd? It’s a challenge—especially since the blog and space is free. I know bloggers love to come to a place with a unique look and feel to it.  In the past, I used a free template. These free templates are a tremendous service to the blogger community. 

One of my friends sent me a link to another blog called Writer’s Blog—that used the same free template and at that time had the same color scheme. When I saw that other blog, I didn’t feel too different or too unique. Yes, my words were different but not the look.

Several weeks ago I learned about Chameleon Blogskins, the work of Darlene Schacht. I met Darlene because she redesigned Shannon Woodward’s Wind Scraps blog. I love the result of Shannon’s redesign. I checked out Darlene’s portfolio and was impressed that each of her designs were unique to the individual.

As a writer, I understand the creativity, listening ability and pure talent involved to capture another person. It’s the type of skill set that I’ve had to tap each time I work on a collaboration project. Darlene echoes this same type of creativity, listening ability, pure talent and attention to the smallest details.  As I’ve written about before in these entries, with much of publishing, the devil is in the details. Darlene knows and understands how to capture these details in her design work. I was amazed.

With one of my suggestions, Darlene had to work some HTML magic. I loved my Book Proposals That Sell  on the computer keyboard. Could she make that book “clickable?”  Yes, she figured it out. It’s a remarkable (and rare) quality for any designer. Today I’m celebrating what I’ve learned from this new friend who has distinguished The Writing Life from the crowded field of blogs.  

As I move into this new look, I hope you will plan to come back tomorrow (and the next day). There is a great deal more to be said about the writing life.

20 Comment:

At 4:11 AM, Blogger Tracy Ruckman Left a note...

I think it looks GREAT! The title is much more prominent and it's a much "prettier" site. (I know, that's a girlie thing - sorry!) See ya tomorrow.

 
At 4:38 AM, Blogger Mridu Left a note...

Love it! Your blog is one of my must-reads of the day. Keep up the great work!

 
At 5:49 AM, Blogger C.J. Darlington Left a note...

Wow. Great new design. Darlene did an amazing job. I know where I want to go if I get a blog up and running!

 
At 7:04 AM, Blogger easywriter Left a note...

It looks great! I'm due for something new too, ready now for a unique look of my own.

 
At 7:14 AM, Blogger Macromoments Left a note...

Terry, love the new look. Darlene's discovery of image mapping is the key to making a blog unique. Yours now reflects exactly who you are.

 
At 7:44 AM, Blogger (Jim &) Brandy Brow Left a note...

I'm glad to see you finally get your desire for a unique blog design fulfilled. Lord knows you've been searching. It looks great and fits you perfectly.

 
At 7:59 AM, Blogger shannon Left a note...

Oh, Terry -- it's just wonderful! I especially love the clickable book and the crumpled paper. That little ball of rejected effort will make every visitor think, "Yes ... he understands the writing life." :)

Darlene is a fabulous designer. I couldn't be happier with what she did for me, and I'm glad you had the same experience.

A great look to go with great content!

 
At 8:26 AM, Blogger Sara Left a note...

Way to go Terry, it looks fantastic! A new look always makes everything feel new. Great design and thanks for letting us know who designed it. I'm putting her in my file for the next time I get ready to redesign! :)

 
At 8:27 AM, Blogger Sara Left a note...

Way to go Terry, it looks fantastic! Love the new look, and thanks for the designer tip!

 
At 10:22 AM, Blogger Chris Left a note...

Looks great, Terry!

Now, if only the book in the monitor were clickable ... and the one behind that ... and the one behind that ....

Always great to read your blog, and now it's even more a pleasure.

--Chris

 
At 10:53 AM, Blogger Darlene Left a note...

Chris' idea is possible, now wouldn't that be cool?

 
At 2:37 PM, Blogger Heather Ivester Left a note...

WOW! I was SHOCKED to open up your blog today. Your new look is absolutely amazing, and truly showcases the creativity of two talented people -- you, the writer, and Darlene, the designer. Thank you for allowing us to see her beautiful work!

 
At 3:57 PM, Blogger Shelley Left a note...

Great new look! Darlene did a great job!

 
At 9:15 PM, Blogger Paula Left a note...

Love your new look. Let me tell you folks, not only is Darlene a great designer, she's an awesome writer! Check out her blog. From day one I was captivated by her writings. God bless your new look!

Blogging For Jesus,

 
At 5:50 AM, Blogger Gina Holmes Left a note...

Love it, Terry. I wonder, is it expensive to have your own template made?

 
At 7:34 AM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...

Thank you everyone for the positive feedback about my new look for The Writing Life. Gina, if you want to know more details about the template cost, you can go to Chameleon Blogskins. It's one of the reasons I put the link in the post. Like any sort of work on the Internet there are a variety of prices and possibilities. The key for me has always been finding a designer whose work you love for a good foundation.

 
At 8:22 AM, Blogger violet Left a note...

Had the same reaction as someone else - AM I IN THE RIGHT PLACE?! It looks great.

Also, a late congrats for getting your book into the Writer's Digest monthly bulletin for July as an 'Suggested Alternate'! It's not often I look into that catalogue and can say, "I know that person." Hope the sales are going well.

 
At 10:21 AM, Blogger Gina Left a note...

I love the new look and the site. I always look forward to gleaning from your wisdom and experience.

 
At 4:35 PM, Blogger Katy Left a note...

Wow, Terry! This is so impressive. I know I'm late to the party, but just wanted to say how wonderful the new look is. Katy McKenna Raymond www.fallible.com

 
At 8:22 AM, Blogger mrsd Left a note...

Your new template looks fantastic. Darlene is the best! :)

 

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