Here’s the irony . . . I was trained as a software programmer and later became a systems analyst/engineer of large communications systems for the federal government. By the time I burned out and exited quietly from Washington, D.C., I had chalked up over 20 years of computer experience.
I should mention my programming career spanned the 1970s and 80s. Obviously technology has passed me by at the speed of, well, a 21st century computer.
Which is why, although eager to start this blog, I procrastinated successfully for many months. I bought a book, “blogging for writers” by Robin Houghton (Writer’s Digest Books, 2014). Houghton’s step-by-step instructions were super, but the reality of following those steps was a challenge.
To begin with, there is no way Houghton could cover all the options and choices for each type of blog platform not to mention each theme or template. In addition, it seemed as though some of the platform’s menus had changed—cosmetically at least—after she pulled her examples. Nevertheless, I could not have made it through the process without her help and definitely recommend the book to anyone interested in creating a blog.
I chose the WordPress platform because it seemed to be easier, but since I didn’t try to use another platform, I can’t verify that assumption. WordPress offers many “themes” but these can be modified and rearranged to suit the author, not necessarily good news.
Although overwhelmed initially with all the choices and steps, I selected the—always useful—trial-and-error method for creating the blog pages and establishing various settings. The method should be called trial-and-error-and-try again-and-repeat method.
Do you have any idea how many hours can be spent starting over from step one of website or blog creation, even when using a platform designed to “make it easy”? Lots and lots of hours.
And then there’s the part where you forget what you tried, no matter how many notes you think you have made. Not to mention remembering where to find the various menus and options you want to select.
The Most Difficult Choice
As you can see (I hope), I made it through those hours and trials. The blog layout is not perfect, but it is a beginning. Still, in preparing my first blog entry, I realized I had not given enough consideration to Houghton’s introductory questions: Why do you want to blog? Who do you want to read your blog? What is the overall purpose of the blog?
My first thoughts—before even buying the book—centered on my writing career itself. Blogging could provide an author’s platform and allow me to share my experiences as a writer. Sounds good, but I wondered how that would look and I couldn’t quite picture the various blog topics or imagine what a writer at my level of experience could offer for advice. I visited scores of writer’s blogs about writing and could not fit my blog into that category.
So I pondered. I remembered that initially I had in mind to discuss “stuff” and perhaps offer an opinion or at least thoughts about the stuff. And thus the blog’s title: “Sometimes I wonder.”