One month of my life has disappeared while I combined blogs and websites into this new and improved model. Much coffee has been consumed. Yes, I decided to clear out my writing folders and it didn’t end until I had a basic understanding of php and sql. That’s right. I’m finally hosting my own website.
Web design inspires me. It reminds me of the pre-internet era computer users who feared the awesome power of buttons. We don’t feel that way now. And that’s sad, because I can’t justify to my non-website designing friends why I haven’t been available and why my site looks more basic while I was avoiding everyone.
My abilities as a writer could not keep up with my ambitions since I published my first novel last year. I needed to assess my strengths and weaknesses. So, I wrote out a business plan. Some conclusions came quick and obvious. Others felt as I had finally noticed the house was on fire.
I needed to hire a proof-reader. I cannot see tpyos. And I needed to simplify my strategy to find readers with social media. Too many accounts. Fortunately, good editors work for reasonable rates.
And I needed a mobile site where I could sell work with few steps and less Amazon. Re-investing my writing income makes sense. Giving everything I earned to GoDaddy just for a website where I can use my favicon. Some bitterness there.
Fortunately, I identified many areas where I could reach a higher level of professionalism on my own and web design was it. And I can collaborate with artists without learning, buying or illegally downloading glorious, but incredibly expensive software.
PROS of being more professional
- I can make neat 404 pages (and love the simplicity of not trying to use godaddy and blogger at the same pointless time? Yes).
- My control over my site is limited by my ability to code it. Wahahahaaha!
- Money I might have spent on something I can do, like website maintenance, is invested on aspects of writing that I hate, like proof-reading.
- I can sell my books online directly from my website. Well, soon I can. Right now, I can link directly my files as I do for a free copy of the Reptilian Guide.
- And I can finally start organizing a choose your own adventure style book with pixel graphics and chiptunes that will make your eyes AND ears weep.
- I just spent one month not writing OR editing.
- I am still working on figuring out where to put the missing </div> containers.
- I kind of miss Blogger. My final heroic effort to save our relationship ended with me installing bootstrap on classic Blogger. And then, I just walked away.
- This level of commitment to a specific genre, world and set of characters feels good, but scary.
Finding focus with my coffee novels outweighs the investment. I often talk about minimalism and how it improves my life, but it’s just too true like using a push mower to cut an overgrown field and then revealing a fully functional motorized unit with a seat warmer and full tank of petrol. Reducing can be tedious and terrible. Sure.
As this is my first post on WordPress and my first blog post from my own site, I just want to say that I’m excited again about writing. Like falling in love. I’m even ENJOYING the edits on my second novel and incredibly relieved to know someone else will stress over tidying the final product. Good decision on my part.
Maybe it would be easier if I didn’t want to create the best possible reading experience. Maybe I’m still too artist and not enough businessman. Maybe I shouldn’t be as committed to self-publishing as I am to writing. Maybe to a lot of things.
Right now, these pros do outweigh the cons and I’m still enjoying all of it.