When I dedicated myself to sitting down and hammering out this quaint little blog of mine, I got a WordPress blog book from the library. I think it was titled Setting Up your Blog in Only 7,812 Pain-free Steps, subtitled Unless You are a Second-Guessing Tech-challenged Creative Perfectionist, Then You’ll Need Medication. I took a deep breath and dove in.
I think WordPress, with their many themes already designed and shiny, would be great for a sane person who likes to jump in and finish their work the easy way. Professional people design these ready-made pages. I should trust their prowess. But, I knew just how I wanted my page to look, (can you hear the mental whining?) and my internal memos rarely make it out into the world, as evidenced by my boredom and confusion when I go to the mall. Don’t these fashion designers know what I want? Not this, I think, not this. (On a side-note, remember the hot-pink glasses I wrote about last week? (Unposed) Well, I got them. My son, in his wisdom, told me in deep sincerity that they just weren’t me. He liked my other ones. Mom, he said, you look better in things like that, like, dull, and ordinary. Yowza.)
I was determined, though. I played with pictures, searched out and read many, many tutorials. It took me a few weeks to get it just right. I hadn’t yet written a word. I was more focused on this project than I am on most things. ADD and perfectionism do not make good bedfellows. Or maybe they do, because most days I think I would rather go back to bed than fight an internal battle just to show up to the one outside. One single thought ran through my head each day as I pushed my chair back from the desk. It was a line from a movie, and a version of it circulated widely this last week due to Daylight Savings Time. Spoken by Count Tyrone Rugen, the six-fingered man from “The Princess Bride,” the words taunted me as I chipped away at the marble of my great mind sculpture. “I’ve just sucked one year of your life away. Tell me, how does it feel?”
I would walk out of our office, weary, bleary, detached from reality, as I tried to mentally solve the problems I had abandoned at the desk for the day. Hubby Dear listened as I mumbled my issues aloud while staring into space. I wish I could throw that kind of focus onto my book, or any other writing. What a satisfying obsession. The irrational side of me thinks words, when they are too often interrupted, start to fade, and I am too afraid they will vanish one day. For now that side of me chooses to wallow in that fear. Soon I will pick myself up out of that filthy mess and dare myself to write again, like a crazy person, like the lady who, while wearing some dull and ordinary glasses, created a blog that people actually read.
I have decided that tech is a necessary evil in this venture. And, let’s be honest, I only believe it to be evil because I cannot quite grasp it. It tickles the end of my fingers as I reach for it, then blows away with the mistaken stroke of the wrong key. I faced such frustration again as I updated the software I use for writing. (It’s called Scrivener, and I promise I don’t sell it, but I am a little in love with it. As in, might have to write a sonnet in dedication.) I followed their well-written help pages and still had to walk away from it a few times, to cry, to eat burritos swimming in cheese, to watch TV and pretend my mind wasn’t sitting at my desk without me still trying to solve the issues. I gave up for a day, and when I came back to it, it was good to go. User error? Oh, quite likely, honey. Quite likely.
When I sat down to do the tutorial on the updates, I was wearing an old T-shirt, faded sweatpants, and hot-pink glasses. My hair was, well, dull (and ordinary?) from not having been washed yet. And I prayed a silent and silly prayer that the designers of this program had not installed a super-secret web-cam to watch me go through their tutorial. Because I giggled, whooped, hollered and amen-ed my way through each step. They thought of everything!
Now I just need to use it often enough to remember how to it all works.