Beginning in Earnest

I created this website back in June (of 2021 – in case you’re reading this in July of 2022 or later), when I was full of fire and certainty that I’d write weekly posts (well, at least two per month, for sure). I had just enrolled in the SNHU online MFA in Creative Writing and was anticipating diving into that class a few weeks later, had a ton of family-related activities going on, was working on some home improvement projects, and was wrapping up several projects at work in anticipation of an extended leave. In the face of all that, I figured that what I also really needed to do was set up an author’s site and start cranking out blog posts. 

I actually did some research into site hosting and tools and landed on WordPress, set up accounts, and started paying for hosting and security (luckily, the costs are pretty modest). I downloaded the software and started playing around with themes, working on page layouts, and figuring out a site structure. I was sure it would be simple; I used to code websites for a living, so how hard could it be? (Narrator: He learned that an understanding of underlying web technologies and Java experience doesn’t make it easy to learn a suite of web publishing tools that are meant to abstract away all the low-level details with which he was familiar.) 

Thanks, Narrator Guy. Yeah, it was a little rockier than I expected, learning how to work with WordPress. I think it was mostly because my expectation that it would be easy to figure out stopped me from taking the time to research how to do what I wanted to do. I was my own worst enemy. The site is still really basic, if I’m being honest with myself, but I will gradually improve it. That’s the plan, anyway.

I got the core of the site set up, and then started thinking about blog post topics. I came up with half a dozen ideas, and I still have the documents with the idea seeds and first few sentences of each. At first, I thought I’d start with some kind of “new beginnings” post, but then I didn’t, because that would clearly be a cliché. So, I thought of other ideas, but I didn’t write more than a few sentences for any of them. Then life went off in a bit of a new direction, some things didn’t work out as expected, I went back to work where things were just getting busier and busier, and I passed my first MFA class with flying colors, all without ever touching this site. 

Now, the second class in my MFA program starts tomorrow, and a fellow MFA student just posted her author’s site in our Facebook group (and it looks really great: check it out here), and that triggered me to circle back around and renew my intent to do something with this site. I tweaked the home page to reflect the latest status of things in my writing life, and then I set up some plugins that allow people to subscribe to the site. But, for people to subscribe, there needs to be some content to subscribe to, and so here I am writing a blog post. 

A blog post about a new beginning. Yes, I realize it’s a cliché. But at least I have half a dozen other blog posts to follow it up with, so I’m good for at least six weeks.

Or maybe twelve. We’ll see how this goes. 

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