The Thrill Is Gone

Do you remember WordPerfect? It was the dominant word processing software for personal computers in the pre-Windows days. Before WordPerfect came out, I used to use WordStar.To say it was cumbersome and not exactly intuitive or end-user friendly would have been an understatement. But it dominated the PC market in the early and mid 1980s when MS-DOS was the operating system of record.But then WordPerfect was introduced and because of its simplicity and ease of use, it rapidly became the standard in the DOS market in the late 80s. What I liked about it was that it showed you a blank page and all you had to do was to put your fingers on keyboard and just start typing. It was, in a word, unobtrusive.

Unfortunately for WordPerfect, it lost its dominant position after it failed to come up with a decent version for Microsoft Windows. Microsoft Word [for Windows] rapidly took over the market and WordPerfect was no longer the standard word processing app by the mid-90s.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with the price of eggs. Well, I’ll tell you. The beauty of WordPress is that it’s unobtrusive. When you want to write a post, you simply click on “Add New” and you’re presented with a blank screen. You don’t need to be computer savvy. You don’t need to take a course, read a manual, or watch a whole bunch of YouTube videos to figure out how to write and publish a post.

Well, it used to be that way, anyway. Flash forward to 2020 (one of the worst years in the history of the modern world). The folks at WordPress decided to come up with something new. They introduced the Block editor. For a while, after WordPress first announced its Block editor (formerly called the Gutenberg editor), it maintained its so-called “Classic” editor for those of us who were used to and liked the easy, unobtrusive way we created our posts.

But this past week, WordPress officially retired its Classic editor and now requires us to use the Block editor. We are forced to learn a whole new paradigm for creating a post. And if you happen to use a smartphone for your blog, fuhgeddaboudit. The Block editor just doesn’t cut it on the small screen.

I’m just a hobby blogger. I blog because I like to write. I enjoy expressing myself on what matters to me in the world around us, dabbling with short fiction, and interacting with other bloggers. I don’t need a whole lot of fancy bells and whistles for my blog. I just want to be able to open up a browser on my iPhone and use its virtual keypad to tap away at whatever comes to mind, to add an image or two, maybe to put in a link here and there, and then to publish my post. Easy peasy, right? Not so much, anymore, I’m afraid.

There are a few “backdoors” to the Classic editor that remain available. WordPress claims that, for those of us who like the Classic editor, they have given us the “Classic Block” in the Block editor. Have you tried that? On a smartphone? It sucks.

WordPress offers a a plugin called “Classic Editor” that allegedly restores the Classic editor as your default editor, giving you the ability to bypass (or ignore) the Block editor. But in order to install the plugin you must upgrade to the Business Plan, which costs $25 a month. I’m retired, I don’t have or run a business, I’m not trying to use my blog to promote or sell anything or to make any money off of my blog, so I certainly don’t want to spend $300 a year for the Business Plan when I don’t have a business.

Alternatively, you can, as I am doing now, use the Classic editor on the “/wp-admin” site. And while it’s better than the Block editor, it is a bit more difficult to use on an iPhone than the version of the Classic editor that WordPress just took away from us. I’m wondering how long it will be before WordPress dumps this version of the “Classic” editor, as well.

Blogging on WordPress is starting to feel more like a burden and less like fun. I don’t know if I want to put up with the hassle of trying to learn a whole new paradigm for blogging, or to jump through hoops to be able to write and publish my posts, especially when I use an iPhone for blogging.

So as much as I hate to say this, I’m announcing that, after this month, I’m going to take a bit of a hiatus from blogging. I’m not abandoning my blog, I’m just not going to post as often as I do now. Maybe not even daily. I’m going to end a few of my prompts, like Fandango’s Provocative Question, Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge, Fandango’s Who Won the Week, and Fandango’s Dog Days of August prompt (which was scheduled to run only through the end of this month, anyway).

I have scheduled my daily FOWC with Fandango prompts through August 31st, and I haven’t yet decided if I will continue to post those after that. I also haven’t decided whether or not I will stop Fandango’s Friday Flashback.

This really breaks my heart because I love blogging. I love interacting with all of you and I will miss this — and you — terribly. But as the song goes, you gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, and know when to walk away. And when the thrill of blogging on WordPress is gone, it’s time to fold ’em.

52 thoughts on “The Thrill Is Gone

    • Fandango August 21, 2020 / 2:32 pm

      I’m glad your finding that it’s working for you. Maybe it’s just me, but the Classic block keeps crashing and when I try to put in a link, the screen seems to go into some sort of spasm. I may continue to see if I can master it.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Mason Bushell August 21, 2020 / 11:24 am

    No don’t go! I just started enjoying your prompts. Honestly block editor is easier than classic and makes your posts look nicer. i couldn’t make a good post on classic I can now. Its fast and easy I promise you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango August 21, 2020 / 2:35 pm

      “Its fast and easy I promise you.” Do you use a smartphone to compose and publish your posts? I’ve tried using it on an iPhone, which is the device I use for my blog, and I’ve found it neither fast nor easy. But I’ll continue to try to make it work.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mason Bushell August 21, 2020 / 2:43 pm

        I do all mine on Laptop. I didn’t like classic much at all. I found blocks far more easier. Now they’ve added a bunch more options to explore as well. I havent yet but I will soon.
        I hope you can find a way to do it. If I can help let me know.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Fandango August 21, 2020 / 3:02 pm

          Yes, I can see where having a 14 to 21 inch laptop screen would support the whole Block concept. But on a 6 inch screen? Uh uh.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Mason Bushell August 21, 2020 / 3:36 pm

            Yeah, it’ll never work on a phone, what a pain that is. Sorry, they screwed out of your fun like that.

            Liked by 2 people

  2. Sadje August 21, 2020 / 11:24 am

    This is bad new Fandango. You’re punishing your followers because of WP folly. Find a way around this problem

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango August 21, 2020 / 2:36 pm

      I don’t mean to punish my followers, Sadje, but I’m frustrated enough with WordPress that the joy I have felt while blogging just isn’t there anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sadje August 21, 2020 / 5:47 pm

        I totally get that. But if you leave WP, we will miss you a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango August 21, 2020 / 5:57 pm

          Thanks, Sadje. Maybe I can force myself to use the Block editor and get accustomed to it.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. rugby843 August 21, 2020 / 11:54 am

    Say it isn’t so!  I have read the frustration of WP bloggers and agree, but “don’t let the bastards win” is my take on this and life in general. 🤓

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

    Like

  4. theministryofshrawleywalks August 21, 2020 / 1:20 pm

    Mr Fandango sir, I feel your pain I wrote a rant about it just yesterday, its a bloody nightmare, I hope you find a way around it because apart we are weak, together we are stronger, unfortunately we’ve got to find a way round this shitty stick. For me, like you, I just love to write and now at the back of my mind is the thought of how the hell do I import photos, etc. No one i’ve spoken to likes the block editor, all I want to do is write, without the hassle of becoming an IT expert. Good luck and I’ll miss you if you vanish

    Liked by 1 person

  5. amoralegria August 21, 2020 / 3:01 pm

    Oh, c’mon, Fandango! I know block editor sucks, but I figured I’d just have to get used to it, which I have, more or less. I don’t use a lot of the stuff on there, just what I need for my basic blog. But I agree with Sadje, don’t just give up! We depend on you! We love your thoughtful and provocative prompts.

    Actually, the writing part isn’t bad on blocks, it’s when I want to add photos, etc. but I’m getting used to that too. And when I copy and paste questions, sometimes they’re in big letters so it forces me to consider it a “heading” and I need to keep with that format, which is bs. But I hope you will try to find a way to deal with it, because you’re one of my favorite bloggers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 21, 2020 / 3:05 pm

      Maybe during my hiatus I’ll give it a try, but I’m not optimistic. Maybe it’s because I use an iPhone and not a laptop, but I’m not willing to change my device to accompany app.

      Like

  6. Cyranny August 21, 2020 / 3:06 pm

    Good Sir, this really makes me sad, although I do understand. I am trying to think about a way to put pressure on WP to try to get them to understand that many of us are here to write and express ourselves and not to learn to use fancier editors. We’ll see.

    No more Flash Fiction Challenges? No more Fandango’s Friday Flashbacks? *Sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 21, 2020 / 4:03 pm

      Well, there are still 10 days left in the month and I’m going to try to see if I can figure out how to make the Block editor work. So stay tuned, I guess.

      Like

  7. newepicauthor August 21, 2020 / 3:07 pm

    I had to use the Block Editor for the first time yesterday, because I am part of the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie group for my MM Music challenge and it was frustrating. I figured it out eventually, but I was not able to get Mr. Linky working. I write everything in MS Word first before I write a post, so it is basically a copy and paste for me. When I did that for today’s post a paragraph in the middle came out in Title format with giant text and I said WTH. I had to learn how to put in a picture, but again I am working on a large monitor, bot a tiny phone screen. There is strength in unity and if we join together and all threaten to leave, maybe then they will listen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carl Setzer August 21, 2020 / 6:25 pm

      You might consider exploring other options. I’ve been posting more on Medium, which is a much simpler interface.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fandango August 21, 2020 / 10:10 pm

        Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll take a look at Medium.

        Like

  8. Carol anne August 21, 2020 / 11:05 pm

    I will be sad to see you not post as much. Have you ever thought of doing post by email? There is a way to post via email, and even put in tags, you just write the post in an email, you just have to enable it in settings. its what I mostly do. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

      • Carol anne August 22, 2020 / 7:51 am

        Hope it works out for you, there’s just a few shortcuts to learn so that you can post properly via email you just have to use certain words and put quotes around the words not quotes but brackets I mean around the words but the list of short cuts is on the WordPress website so you could learn off what you need and leave the rest 😘

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Irene August 22, 2020 / 5:24 am

    Oh dear, those WP Happy Engineers sure are making us all sad! I cannot imagine trying to work with the blocks on a small screen; sometimes even on the laptop, you go to “preview” and you find that the block editor has “optimized” your display and they are all out of place. You are right that their beta testing was either insufficient or just non-existent. I am watching an AMC show on Netflix called “Halt and Catch Fire”, set in the 80s and 90s; the fictional characters are based on the creators of many “firsts” in the computer, software and internet world, and it is interesting to see how some (many, really) companies’ success rapidly vanished from miscalculations on their costumers’ preferences.

    I hope you can find your joy for blogging again, either on WP or elsewhere, just please stay in touch so we know where to find you, I sure enjoy all your challenges, prompts and original pieces.

    PS Do you remember Chi Writer? That was my favourite word processor after Word Star and before Word Perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 22, 2020 / 8:48 am

      I don’t recall Chi Writer, but for a while I used a word processor called MultiMate.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Stuart Danker August 22, 2020 / 8:15 am

    Aww that’s sad. I too am not really liking the Block editor, though I’ve started to use it. I didn’t know you could access the Classic editor from wp-admin. I’ll try that. Anyway, wishing you the best in whatever decision you take regarding your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Melanie B Cee August 22, 2020 / 10:09 am

    Aw %@$#&*!!!! insert any and all cuss words that you’d prefer. Mine are far dirtier. G*ddammit all to hell. 😡 I GET why you’re doing what you are. If it’s not fun, it’s work, and that’s not blogging. BUT. I was going to offer the sage (ish) advice that the longer you use the ‘Admin Classic’ whatever name it is, the easier it gets. I’ve been using THAT all along (since early 2014) and now it’s second nature. When those assholes at WP decide to retire THAT option, I’m possibly following you out the door. Fudge. What the hell am I to with Wednesdays and the rest of this impossibly long, f*cked up year NOW? Sh*t. I HOPE you reconsider somewhere down the line. Because I’ll miss you. Lots.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 22, 2020 / 6:01 pm

      I’m still attempting to use the Classic block in the block editor, but it’s buggy, at least on my iPhone, so I have to revert to “Admin Classic” to get it posted. It’s a pain in the butt and I’m really losing patience. But I’m not quite ready to give up yet.

      Like

  12. Mister Bump UK August 23, 2020 / 1:23 am

    /tell me, are you planning on posting fwwtw today? It’s just that I have one lined up but I normally wait to see yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 23, 2020 / 7:33 am

      I am planning on it, yes. I just haven’t yet picked a winner.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mister Bump UK August 23, 2020 / 9:11 am

        I was lucky this week – I had my guy last week but just couldn’t find the words for such a dick. I’ve had a week to think about it.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Paula Light August 24, 2020 / 9:05 am

    Boo! That’s bad news. So far, the app is the same (no blocks). I only use the block editor when blogging from my laptop. I’ve always found that the app was much easier than a browser when blogging via iPhone. Perhaps try the app?

    I’ll definitely miss you and your prompts!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Liz August 24, 2020 / 2:17 pm

    No one should be forced to use blick editor. The way WP is going, don’t be surprised down the line that they get rid of the classic editor. They are saying nothing more about supporting later after the deadline, so I don’t trust WP anymore. Not after this and another thing that happened to me.

    I have made my announcement. I am gone blogging end if year here. I will be only around commenting on blogs I follow.

    I am back at Blogger. My new blog already on air and creating the odd post at least once a month this year, until back to more regular posting over there.

    As I not long ago blogged, I can’t be made to love blick editor. My love of writing would go using it. That editor is not my way to write and never will be.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. King Ben's Grandma August 24, 2020 / 7:30 pm

    I use android, but I also do everything from my phone. I switched to the block editor back when it was announced, knowing it was inevitable.
    I go to the dot com (I have a shortcut saved to my homescreen) and so far, other than a few glitches, which is normal for WP, it’s working okay.
    Just writing, if you use the “return” button it creates a new paragraph/block

    Adding videos and images takes more time, and I’ve found with images I have to send them to WP first because uploading doesn’t always work. But… I’m used to it and I dont even really remember the difference.

    I’ve been doing a daily post since mid-March, where before I rarely posted. I was here for the socializing.

    I understand when the frustration over rules the fun, but you have many fans and I enjoy the products of your blog too. If I can be of any help with the block editor, let me know. I’m one finger tapping away too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 24, 2020 / 10:09 pm

      I have attempted to use the so-called classic block of the block editor several times on my iPhone, but every time it either gives me an error message or freezes up. I don’t know if that’s an issue that’s unique to the iPhone, but it is really frustrating. I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel, but I am quickly losing my patience with WordPress. I don’t know why they had to retire the classic and why they can’t let those of who prefer it continue to use it instead of forcing us to use the block editor.

      And thanks for what you said about my blog. I appreciate that a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. shail August 24, 2020 / 11:37 pm

    I blog mostly on my laptop, but I do use the iPad too. It is not the same, I agree. But now I have gotten used to the block editor on my iPad. At least I think so.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 24, 2020 / 11:49 pm

      I can see where using an iPad might more closely resemble the laptop experience than the iPhone experience.

      Like

      • shail August 29, 2020 / 6:19 am

        Yes, indeed.

        I came across your daily prompt challenge on Cee’s page. Among all the others she had shared, I chose this one, as it was the closest to the WordPress challenge. I definitely will miss the prompts if you decide not to continue.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango August 29, 2020 / 10:27 pm

          Thanks. I’m still hoping to find a way to stick around with at least some prompts.

          Liked by 1 person

  17. leigha66 August 25, 2020 / 9:40 am

    I understand your frustrations and I hope your break from WordPress does you well. I think you are a talented writer and I would be sad to see you leave my friend. I will continue with your challenges as long as you post them. Enjoy your break.

    Liked by 1 person

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