Reorganizing My Website, Reorganizing My Life

I’ve been admiring how other poets and writers organize their websites. The poet Edgar Kunz only has two pages: “About” and “Contact.” The science fiction and fantasy writer N. K. Jemisin has on her homepage three menu items: an “About” menu with links to a bio, awards list, and press kit; a “Books” menu with links to pages devoted to all her book series, collections, short stories, and comics/graphic novels; and the requisite “Blog.” The horror author Kristi DeMeester has a homepage announcing an upcoming novel, her bio and contact pages, a list of her short fiction, and a blog. The prolific horror author Tim Waggoner has a homepage listing his most recent books and a sidebar with links to pages for the various subgenres and audiences he writes for, his bibliography, stories, articles, interviews, reviews, photos, about, links, blog, and contact information.

I aim for Kunz’s minimalism (and Waggoner’s output!), but with twenty-plus years of websites and content reflecting my various interests and hobbies all consolidated into one personal website, my menus and site navigation have gotten out of hand. It’s time for a reorganization that focuses entirely on writing and teaching while burying my past activities (graphic and website design, writing about science and technology news, podcasting, organizing transhumanist clubs, and reviewing books and other media.)

After checking out several examples, the trend among writers seems to be separate “Home,” “About,” and “Contact” pages, a page or two listing publications, and a blog.

Old Menus & Organization

  • Publications
    • Poetry
    • Fiction
    • Creative Nonfiction
    • Websites
  • Workshops
    • Resources
    • Writing Tips
    • Submission Opportunities
  • Blog
    • Book Reviews
    • Movie & TV Reviews
    • Music Reviews
    • Blog Archives
  • About

New Menus & Organization

  • Home
  • About
  • Poetry
  • Short Fiction
  • Workshops
    • Resources
    • Writing Tips
    • Submission Opportunities
  • Contact
  • Blog
Screen shot of updated website menus and content organization into a homepage for announcements and pages for about, poetry, short fiction, workshops, contact, and blog
Screenshot of new menu on homepage

If you’re interested (and who isn’t interested in organizing content!), here are a few notes about the website reorganization decisions I made:

  • Since I write both poetry and short fiction (primarily literary poetry and speculative fiction), and because these genres often appeal to different audiences, it made sense to break the list of my publications into two separate pages.
  • I removed mention of my creative nonfiction publications, however, because I don’t write creative nonfiction currently and many of my past pieces are no longer available to read.
  • My articles on writing are currently some of the most visited pages on my website, so I kept “Resources,” “Writing Tips,” and “Submission Opportunities” grouped with “Workshops.”
  • I gave the contact form (previously a part of my “About” page) its own page, which I notice most writers do on their websites; they also tend to list their “About” or “Bio” page second in their top-level menu and their “Contact” page just before the link to their blog, which is almost always last.
  • My blog, which goes back to the year 2000 and contains posts related to my past activities, has been flattened from multiple breakout pages for various categories to an “All Blog Posts” page and a proper blog archives listed by month, and this serves notice, at least to me, that I have moved on from all those past activities.
  • I switched my “Home” page from a list of all my publications to a welcome and announcements page.

These changes to my website have also helping me reorganize my mind, my priorities, and my schedule the past few weeks. When I look at my website, it no longer leads easily to the past, it no longer tempts me with what I used to do. It stacks the present and the future, my writing and teaching, my current goals and aspirations, above the past. It presents to readers and students who I am today.

Isn’t it amazing what a little reorganization can do?