It was an obvious, straightforward equation:
I’m going to be a published author + published authors have websites
= I needed a website
Not to mention Writer Facebook pages and all sorts of other online presences that sent waves of wariness through my body at their mere mention.
Isn’t it enough to write a book?
No, it isn’t – if you don’t want that book to disappear, hook line and sinker, without ever making as much as a splash. A few months ago, I bought the domain www. barbarahenderson.co.uk.
And then I sat on it, doing absolutely sweet nothing with it. Now I’m no dinosaur. I conquered Twitter, didn’t I? I worked out how to blog, I got myself connected on Facebook. I went with the flow. But a real, live website, now that was a different matter altogether. Something which would be out there with the professionals; something people would judge me by (bad) and judge my book by (worse).
Time to call in the experts!
My friend Gerry has just set up his own tech support business, so he could help me (and man, I needed help!) In turn, I could become one of his first customers. All good!
The doorbell rang. There was a strange dynamic – I offered him tea, but the usual chitchat about kids and church and putting the world to rights was soon cut short – I was paying him after all. He texted to say he was running five minutes late – he was being professional after all. Strange – but soon we were lost in the wonders of WordPress. A brief session and my basic website was configured, money was spent, decisions were made. I felt vulnerable.
HIM: It wants to know: Do you want it to do this… (insert utterly bamboozling concept) or that … (insert equally bewildering notion)?
ME: (hesitant) Erm… what would you recommend?
ME: All right. (confidently) That!
He packed up at time’s-up o’clock and I spent a solid two hours looking at themes. The following morning I spent another two hours looking at themes. Colour. Layout. Terror. Freakout. Functionality and plugins and widgets and customisation and tools and permalinks…
In the end, I chose – mostly because I couldn’t bear not choosing a second longer – and got to work. Adding content sounds very simple, but it takes ages; take it from me! Once I was reluctantly happyish with it I hovered my finger over the mouse. It would have been easy to hide, leave the setting on private for all eternity. The click of terror. One of the moments of the Ride when you feel as if you’re in freefall.
I’ve opened the cage door and set them all free: my pictures and ramblings and dates and notes are out there in the wide virtual word, ready for anyone to find. And I’m one step further along on the Ride.
Take a look if you like: