My short, facetious answer: read my book!
More seriously, these are the steps I would recommend:
- Learn how themes work. The Themeshaper tutorial is an excellent place to start. Then learn how child themes work.
- Get really comfortable with conditional tags and the template hierarchy. I still refer to these Codex pages about once a week; they’re that essential (and complicated).
- Learn how WP_Query works, why
query_posts() is bad, and how to properly modify a loop or add a secondary loop.
- Learn how hooks (actions and filters) work.
- Learn to build custom taxonomies and custom post types. You’ll pick up the basics of plugin development along the way.
- Learn the options and settings APIs and data validation (that is, writing secure plugins and themes).
- Tackle the rest of this list as needed.
Only seven steps! Not so bad.
2013, I have nothing to say to you. When we reminisce about the good years, your name will not be called. Begone.
Your pictures will lurk under the others’, your corners forever warring for territory on the sticky page. When you begin to damage your opponents, we will call a halt to the hostilities. We will resettle you elsewhere, in an undisputed box.
You tried to kill us. You burned us, drowned us, sickened us, shot us — what is it with years and guns lately? — and you sent your winds to sweep us away. Keep sweeping as you go; your mess awaits our care.
Pieces of you are missing. We buried them with our families and friends. You leave without your full complement of passengers; I deem you a poor conveyance.
Your governance, you stole from your predecessors’ store of jokes. Here, take it back. It is what we asked for; it was not what we wanted.
Return to your father’s house, little year, imprecise assassin, careless keeper. Sit at the feet of your elders. Ask them, Could I have done better, given what came before?
Perhaps they can find some comfort for you. I cannot; what I might have shared with you, you have taken.
Begone, year. Welcome, year.
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The other day, YA author Justine Larbalestier asked several luminaries of the romance genre on Twitter why she was having so much trouble writing a romance. I’ve Storified the advice she got from Joanna Bourne, Tessa Dare, Courtney Milan, Sherry Thomas, Cecilia Grant, and Marjorie Liu.
ETA: Justine has written some more about the conversation.
Brad Touesnard and Pippin Williamson invited me to appear on today’s episode of their Apply Filters podcast, which is devoted to WordPress plugin development. Each episode is only about half an hour long, and they take part of each episode to talk about a specific plugin they like. It’s a great podcast; check it out! I had a great time, and I was honored to be asked.
Now that I’ve given away all the work-related books (for this week, anyway), I have fun stuff for you to win: advance reading copies of Holly Black’s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Alan Weisman’s Countdown, and Mira Grant’s Parasite. Continue reading