Monday, August 27, 2007

Confessions of a frustrated blog mechanic

There was a time years ago when our lack of money forced my husband to be an amateur auto mechanic. I can recall those unpleasant afternoons he spent under the hood or beneath the axles of the family junker, not to mention the side-of-the-road breakdowns that required assistance from the extended family to get the sick car home.

Once, a friend came over to help him work on the car. After a couple of hours, his friend leaned back against the shade tree.

"I've exhausted all my knowledge," he said.

It was the ultimate declaration of defeat for the two shade-tree mechanics.

So what does this have to do with blogging?

I've had people tell me they're amazed I know how to build a website. Not amazing at all, I say. I don't build those nice sophisticated ones like real programmers do. I have a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) program. Big deal. Maybe they don't look as great as the professional sites, but much like my husband used to work on the cars, I do it myself 'cause I don't have the money to pay a professional.

I know just enough about HTML and coding to get myself in trouble. It's like insisting you can compete in the high dive at the Olympics when you have a fear of heights and the only thing you know how to do in the deep end of the pool is doggie paddle.

Being the kind of person who loves a challenge and relishes the agony associated with defeat, I've been determined to re-do my personal website and start a blog. Me, the same person who is guilty of knocking latterdayauthors off line for about two weeks because I altered some teeny-tiny thing by accident.

My husband told me recently that I am stubborn. I asked him if that was a bad thing.

"Well ... no," he said. But something in his voice made me wonder.

Here's my issue. I can blog anywhere, but I want to blog on a program that I can load onto my web server. I want the blog to be at my domain, with no dangling file name appendages. There is a certain program I want to use, and I want the program to do what I want it to do.

After several loadings, glitches, deletions, and other various and sundry aggravations that have prevented my blog from working right, I found myself in a state of self-mutilating frustration.

In a fit of bloody cyber-rage, I deleted my entire website. On purpose.

Now if you go to my website, there's a cute little construction sign and a message that says my site is coming soon.

I remember the early days of latterdayauthors. I worked for weeks at the computer, spending hours per day trying to teach myself how to build a website. I was able to construct a crude one using Microsoft Publisher. (horrors!) But I got it done. And when I got a better program, I built a better mousetrap.

It was hard, but I learned from my mistakes.

My time is much more limited now, but I have decided that no matter how hard or frustrating this is, I am going to accomplish my goal. I am going to learn how to use this stinkin' blog program. And if, when I finally get it right, the only hair I have left is the hair around my ankles, so be it.

I am not a quitter.


Rebecca Talley said...

You go, girl!!!

And, what's with that cat?

Lori Nawyn said...

Patricia, you're my hero! Keep at it -- you'll get it. You can't help but fare up better than the cat!

Anne Bradshaw said...

You did a grand job back in those days, Patricia. You're definitely not a quitter. You're a winner. All those wonderful books prove the point.

Someone needs to finish off that poor cat, though (the trim, that is).

patricia said...

Update: I fixed my blog! It is now at my URL

I found this cute ducky template. I love it!

I'll be re-adding links and other things as I can get to them.

Thanks for your encouragement!