Why Does It Have To Be So Hard? could be an alternative title for this post.
For months I have been trying to learn how to create, manage and update my own website.
My original website was made for me in exchange for some handwoven products many many years ago. And then, for many years, a good friend, and very talented photographer and writer, Richard Hinchcliff took care of it for me. I appreciated his help, input and expertise so much. The site was all in code and was making any changes on it, totally beyond me. I loved that site! I was so proud of how it looked and how it presented my work and my abilities. But times change and it was time to change the format and enter the world where so many people access information by their phone with its teeny screen and its limitations. I also needed something I could update and add to when I wanted to.
I had started my business Facebook page, with help from my sister, Judy Hudson and daughter, Kaija Whittam, and was amazed how easy it was and how much response I had received. That made me a little confident that I could learn to manage a simple Web Site.
Try WordPress they told me. You can do it. I was totally unsure that was true. Looking at WordPress examples, I usually picked the ones (like Finland’s travel site) with content that appealed to me. I could not imagine my own site in any of the provided formats. At first I just wanted to move most of the old site over.
Next step was to realize it was Time To Change. Time to “Let Go”. And then, that I had to move beyond denial, insecurity, feelings of inadequacy, and just DO IT.
It has never been “fun” as I was told it would be. Partially, because of course, I am just not a fun person. It’s been a steep learning curve, with always a stubborn digital monkey wrench popping up in the most awkward places. “Plant a cabbage, get a cabbage, not a brussel sprout. That’s why I like gardening, you know what you’re about” to quote the song from the Fantastics. That’s why I do like gardening, very hands on, very direct results and problem solving. To do anything on a web site, I learned, you have to figure out what it will let you do, where and when. Why does not seem to enter into the equation. It doesn’t feel very creative for me, its like negotiating a day with an ornery 3 year old some how, limiting, frustrating, in oh so many ways. There are things I cannot change about the format that I am using, like the skimpy print size on the headings. Another example, I would like a different photo slice as a header on each page. Impossible. Why? Its often like wrestling with an uncooperative remote control. Etc. etc. But I have given in, abandoned a lot of my wish list, did what I could, and hope the finished project (it will never be complete) is a good reflection of my work and abilities (teacher, weaver, basket maker, etc.).
Many people have made this launch possible. More than feeling pride in my accomplishments, I am so very grateful to my helpers whom I think of as The Big Three. Judy Kavanagh who started me off, gave me very practical assistance and advice and was always a very sweet cheerleader. She was right behind me every step of the way. My sister Judy Hudson, who helped a lot in the early stages and kept trying to show me how easy it was. She has a lot of misguided faith in me. I still marvel at her idea we could do it on Skype, her on Vancouver Island, me in Alabama. Lastly, kudos to Katherine McCarron, currently my BFF who firmly got me on the right path, did a lot of the heavy lifting and has remained my go to helper by phone and email, whatever else she is trying to do in her life.
So now, I find the photo I want for this post, move it into the Website Images file, and then into my Media Library and then on to the blog post. Then move the photo to a centre of page alignment so that the pesky print does not snake around it. I am impressed that I can now do all these steps. I do feel proud! Then I press Update.
Finally the new website for Handweaving by Janet Whittam is almost ready to go. After settling what Scans that I need and when, it will be launched. (What Scans and Why, my fevered brain considers. ) To Be Continued.