Change Is Overrated

First, I must mention how grateful I am for all the feedback these last few days – here, on Twitter and in person – regarding the design changes with which I’ve been playing. It’s been an interesting process, and I’m a little surprised by the outcome upon which I’ve settled. If you are reading this on the homepage, you’ll notice I’ve returned to my original theme for Pleasure Notes.


I guess I’m not quite as ready for change as I thought. Or perhaps, more accurately, I do not have the funds or css/html knowledge to create my vision in a new template with any greater satisfaction than that I find with the original.

And change simply for the sake of change is not my objective.

After countless hours – truly a ridiculously alarming number too large to share – of scrolling through the hundreds of free themes out there, I selected a couple that I thought might maintain elements of my original design while also lightening things up a bit to reflect the shift I’m trying to make in my life.

I tweaked the first option as best I could, but there were a few elements – the yellow highlighting and the chartreuse floral – that I truly despised, and which seemed to be locked in to the theme.

First New Look

Then, a trusted friend and loyal reader informed me that the theme showed up broken in her browser. There was no question, then, that it must be rejected forthwith.

Yes, I said FORTHWITH. I watched Lost In Austen last night on Netflix – feeling very anglophile today.

On to the second option.

Second New Look

I tweaked this one as well, also within the limitations of my html knowledge and patience. It was fine. Very readable.


It just felt plain, plain, PLAIN. The simplicity of it seemed devoid of character.

For me.

I know a blog is about the words. But I’m never just about the words. I want to enfold you in an experience. I want this to be place you can sink into or dance through, depending on your mood and mine, but mostly I want you to FEEL and THINK and BE.

And I didn’t feel anything when I looked at that design. I felt entirely objective and ambivalent, like when I glance at the LA Times while in line for my egg sandwich at Starbucks. I wasn’t curious. I wasn’t invested. I wasn’t drawn in and made to feel present.

Now, I realize that you may feel none of these things anyway when you visit Pleasure Notes. But I do. And, after this little experiment, I’ve realized I don’t need to change the dressing on Pleasure Notes any more than I need a boob job or liposuction to reflect better self-esteem. Not that I’m equating the significance of a change in blog design with that of plastic surgery, but I’m hoping you get the picture. So for the time being, I’m opting out of change.

At least change of the cosmetic sort.


  • Merry

    as i mentioned before – i’m totally down with this incarnation of the page. i think it’s smurftastic.
    (and i never realized you were a fellow devotee of those starbucks egg sandwiches. mmm.)

    • emmajames

      Merry: Oh, my friend, we must have a discussion about the delightful yumminess that is that starbucks egg sandwich! And I’m really happy you like the look.

  • olive & hope

    I feel so lost. I missed all the playing you did. If you try it on and it doesn’t fit…then I say stick with what feels good! I am coming over regardless of what color your blog is :)
    .-= olive & hope´s last blog ..oh friday. =-.

    • emmajames

      O&H: Ha! This is what you get for having a delightful, social-media free weekend! Basically, um… nothing. ;) Or, just more of my insanity. lol.

  • Jaime-Ann

    You know you’re right. Trust your gut. If you are not sure about something not reflecting and representing you as you are comfortable with then hell, why bother?

    I am a total ADHD person so 1 minute I like something the next I think WTF was I thinking? Change is a hard thing to deal with – especially when it comes to social media and blogs. I actually think it can be more difficult to change your look etc. online than if you showed up to Thanksgiving dinner all of a sudden with a shaved head rooting for the other team! (maybe that’s just my family though)

    Anyway – whatever you find yourself comfortable with in the end is just the wall to the awesome content you paint on to it.
    .-= Jaime-Ann´s last blog ..Are you looking for help that’s a little hot, smoldering, sexy, enticing… =-.

  • whollyjeanne

    sugar, you feather your nest any way that feels right to you. you and your words, they’re the main thing. i have to admit that i did feel a shock when i went to your blog when you had it dressed in that other theme, and i didn’t even realize that until just now, when i come visit and it’s familiar again. xo
    .-= whollyjeanne´s last blog ..not a good girl . . . yet =-.

    • emmajames

      Jeanne: Isn’t it strange how we don’t always realize that we’re uncomfortable until comfort has been restored? I love the imagery of feathering my nest. I need to go find some ostrich plumes… xo

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