The Writing Process
I am a person who has a rich inner life. In general, I think in terms of concepts which are rather complex; these thoughts have no words, and they’re not easy to put into words. It’s more like an understanding of how various things are related.
I have found that writing suits me very well. But I have to sit and contemplate for a while to be able to put my ideas into words that another person could understand. I have to conscientiously construct sentences and choose my words. I use a thesaurus regularly. I have to write these words down whenever they come to me, or else the succinctness and eloquence will quickly be forgotten. I regard good writing as an artistic masterpiece of language.
If I don’t take the time (which sometimes can take hours of meditation) to put those ideas into words, then the moment passes and I will forget everything because those thoughts are superseded by new thoughts.
However, certain thoughts come to me over and again, and I tend to believe that when this happens, God is trying to get something important across to me. This repeated exposure eventually gives me sufficient opportunity to get it into words. Whenever I can do that, and then go back and study what I have written from a critical, objective viewpoint and refine it a bit, then it yields profoundly significant concepts which can leave people stunned when I describe it in words.
This is partly why I started blogging – to capture these ideas and share them with others. A lot of my writings here at Sigma Frame are captured thoughts that I was able to condense into descriptive language. I would estimate that of all the thoughts I have, I can only get about 10% into words, and of that 10%, I only post about 10% of that. So the Σ Frame blog is about 1% of my thoughts. I wish there were some way I could increase my efficiency.
History of the Σ Frame blog and the Site Appearance
I started using Blogger around 2007 as a tool to capture my ideas, refine them through the writing process, and share them with others in my fellowship group. On my old site at Blogger, I used a header image of two chess pieces, a white king and a black queen.
On September 27, 2017, I moved to WordPress and used the header image of a jeweled clock mechanism (shown above).
In November 2018, I decided to experiment with a new site appearance, using the Jack of diamonds and the Jack Sparrow character as the new avatar (shown in the header). Traffic picked up about 69.6% on average.
In 2019, Lexet submitted a number of writings, and he continues to write posts from time to time.
In January, 2020, Adam Piggott gave me this advice.
“Post more often, you will get more traffic. If people know that they can get something from you every day, then they come back a lot more often. I’ve also found that the magic number of words for a post is about 700. That’s what people can handle in this day and age.”
I was unable to post daily, but I decided to start posting every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. After a few months, Scott started writing articles for Σ Frame.
On the first of November 2020, I started posting daily. My motivation was to offer readers a distraction from the political drama surrounding the presidential election. At first, I didn’t think I would have the time to continue posting daily any longer than a couple weeks. Then NovaSeeker joined the author’s panel and this allowed me to continue the daily posting schedule. I also changed the header image to display seven different Jack of diamonds cards. As a result of these changes, the average traffic increased 29.6% compared to the previous month.
Derek gave me some good advice about choosing a theme color.
“A brief discussion of color science is in order. Roughly speaking, the human eye sees red, green, blue, light/dark. The colors we perceive are the result of the brain combining these signals. The closer you get to bright primary colors, the more stressful the colors are because they are not utilizing the full capability of the eyes. Indeed, the dynamic sensitivity of the eye’s cones are adjusted in the absence of a color. This is why everything looks weird when you take off tinted sunglasses (or worse, 3D glasses) after wearing them for a while.
If you look at the 24 blue colors, most are mixed with green, the color the human eye is most comfortable seeing. Those that are not are dark (e.g. Navy #000080).
Thus, if you want to use a solid red color, you need to either darken it or mix in a little blue or green. Your choice (#990803) is a bit too glaring. Something simple like darkening it to #7A0602 would be an improvement. Some desaturation would reduce eye strain even more (e.g. #7A1612). Or you could take Royal (#111E6C) as a template and make it red (#6C1E11) instead.
I like red from an artistic standpoint because it matches the red jack, but blue works fine too.”
I started by studying the hexadecimal color coding system. After gaining some familiarity with this system, I used a red-based permutation of the royal blue as a template, as Derek suggested. Then I increased the blue slightly to make it richer.
The current background color is #6C111E.
More detailed accounts of the changes and the resulting impact on traffic are described in the following posts.