4. On how [David Sedaris] copes with writer’s block:

Sometimes when I’m stuck, I’ll open an English textbook, and do the homework. There are a lot of college writing textbooks that will include essays and short stories, and after reading the story or essay, there will be questions such as “Have YOU Had any experience with a pedophile in YOUR family?” or “When was the last time you saw YOUR mother drunk?” and they’re just really good at prompting stories. You answer the question, and sometimes that can spring into a story. You know, this is really good advice: I mean, I don’t have advice to offer on many things, but THAT is good advice, and you’re NOT gonna hear it from a lot of other places. Sometimes, I listen to… jazz. It can’t be… music with words in it. But lately, I’m on a… let’s see, I’m on a Bobby Enriquez kick. It doesn’t have anything to do with writer’s block. Well, where we live in Sussex, sometimes there are gliders over our house, and gliders don’t make any noise, but the planes that tow them into the sky do, but I like to cover up the sound of the planes. It’s like a flying lawnmower.

Disclaimer:  I am not a WordPress consultant. I don’t code for a living. I know exactly enough stylesheets to get myself in trouble.  You should make sure that you’ve made a clean backup copy of any file you mess with in WordPress’s file structure so that if and when you botch it, it’s easy to return things to normal.

So let’s get started.

Let’s pretend you have a WordPress-hosted blog named webslog.wordpress.com.  Let’s also pretend that you have chosen The Sapphire Theme.

1) Log into the admin section of your blog.  It’s likely where you go to write your posts.

2) In the left sidebar menu, click Appearance, then click Editor, then select Theme from the column at the top right of your screen.  It will be called something like “The Sapphire Theme”.

3) When you enter that file, you’ll see a metric boatload of code related to how your blog builds itself when called up by a browser.

4) In that window, scroll down to lines 1329 – 1337 you should see this.  (You can also search – [command-F] – on the page for the string .entry p,).  

.entry p,
.entrytext,
.entry ol,
.entry ul  {
font-family: Georgia, serif;
font-size: 1.3em;
line-height: 1.5em;
text-align: left;
}

This chunk of code deals with how paragraphs (p) in each post (.entry) are formatted.  In this case, your typeface is Georgia, font size is 1.5 em (which means the sizes of the letters are relative, and vary based on what device the blog is being viewed) and your text is aligned to the left.  Ragged right is assumed.

5) Now, below line-height: 1.5em; press return to open a line up, then add this line of text:

text-indent:2em;

The block of text should now look like this:

.entry p,
.entrytext,
.entry ol,
.entry ul  {
font-family: Georgia, serif;
font-size: 1.3em;
line-height: 1.5em;
text-indent:2em;
text-align: left;
}

6) Save your edits by clicking Save.

7) Log out of your blog’s back end, hit refresh and you should see the posts now displaying with the indent.

8) If the indent is not as you’d have it, go back into the style sheet and adjust the number beside em up or down.  Remember to hit save each time you edit the sheet.

That should get it.