From Writer to Web Designer

June 28, 2011

I just returned from web design hell, having spent the last twenty-four hours obsessed with my website.
Let me rewind a bit…

For almost a year now—wait, well over a year?—my url has pointed to a cheesy black and white photo with the message, “Coming soon…” Uh-huh. If soon were say, ALMOST TWO YEARS.

But big plans were in the works during those two years. Because of course I’d be published by now and willing to shell out the cash.

As the days passed and the website sat unchanged, I started downgrading my big plans to the point where they were manageable. I made a few strategic purchases (clip art, custom themes) and tucked the items away.

My plan became, “When I have extra time, I’m going to build my own site.” Uh-huh. Extra time. As in free time. As in time with which I have nothing to do. *Breathless laughter*

The other night, as I drifted off to sleep (under a warm and cozy blanket of rich red wine), a sort-of slogan/motto rolled through my head: Read, Drink & Be Merry! Much like the characters who hound me at night and throughout the following day, I couldn’t let the line go.

I didn’t have extra time, so I made time to work on the website.

Now that the job is done—some little fixes/additions still needed—I’ve had time to reflect on the other side of writing, self-promotion. I’ve heard writers talk about how maintaining sites, blogs and social media accounts takes away from the hours spent writing. I can see how.

I lost an entire day of writing yesterday to work on my “brand,” which seems outrageously wasteful considering I’m not published. And yet, this morning, when I woke up and set my browser toward my new and improved site, I couldn’t help but feel some satisfaction over what I’d built.

Do you have a blog? A website? Did you build it yourself? Hire someone? Enlist Hubby’s help? How much time do you spend on self-promotion? It’s a balance act, isn’t it?

E

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4 Responses to “From Writer to Web Designer”

  1. taristhread Says:

    You are much more tech savvy than I am…but I guess that you knew that!!

    No website….nothing to promote yet….but I plan on having my very tech savvy sons help me in exchange for their favorite meals….which I haven’t been making too often lately as I’ve been writing!!

    Hmmm, maybe this is good strategy, they’ll want those meals even more after a long break without them…

    Soon you’ll have a book to promote, and you’ll be ready!

    So where’s the link? Did I miss it???


  2. Hey, Tari. You didn’t miss it. I didn’t post it, but it is linked to in our right menu. It’s http://elleyfranco.com.

    I’m lucky enough to have a basic background in graphics and web design thanks to my work with Disney, but when I get into something like this I realize I’m still lacking compared to what’s going on out there in Cyberland. 🙂

    E


  3. Oooh nice website Elley :-)I have a personal blog, a group blog and recently designed my own website. Don’t spend an awfully long time on either of them, but publishers seem to expect you have them, so who am I to argue, lol. I use my personal blog the most, I have to say, as it’s very therapeutic to put my thoughts down and it’s not all writing related.
    And of course I’m on Facebook and Twitter.


  4. Hi, Doris! Thanks. I see that Baby is still snug as a bug in a rug. I bet the idea of six weeks seems like an eternity. Good luck! 🙂

    You wrote: “I use my personal blog the most, I have to say, as it’s very therapeutic to put my thoughts down and it’s not all writing related.”

    And that got me thinking about how much I used to write in paper journals. I have them stacked on a shelf in my closet. So many years of self-therapy through writing! But now, I hardly ever pick up a pen anymore. Blogging sort of pushed the journaling aside for me.

    E

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