When All Else Fails, Find the Instructions!

I probably shouldn’t admit this, but, yeah, I’m guilty. I’m one of those people who approaches darn near everything with the expectation that whatever it is will be intuitive. Instructions? Pfft. Why bother?

Case in point: this blog. With many thanks and an equal amount of curses to writer friends Jessa Slade and Terri Patrick, I decided to take the plunge a few weeks ago and actually set up this site.

Of course it would be a piece of cake! Of course it wouldn’t take very long! And, OF COURSE I’d get back to tidying up a manuscript for submission within a couple of hours, full website/blog in place!

At the end of a ten-hour wrestling match, I had something, all right. Not quite sure what it was, but it was something. And the next day I figured out a couple of more things. The day after THAT, a few more things got cleaned up. So it’s progressively, sometimes painfully, morphed into what I’ve got today.

All in all, here’s what I learned about the process:

1. Setting up a blog might be intuitive to some, but it sure as heck wasn’t intuitive to me. I ended up SOMEHOW creating two different sites. Which thoroughly explained why I couldn’t find pictures I’d originally posted, or themes I’d originally chosen. These were the kinds of stuff that MADE ME CRAZY until I discovered that each site I’d inadvertently created had its own media file, theme file, etc. The trick was figuring out which one was supposed to be active and somehow making that the primary site. And it would’ve been nice if I’d figured it out at the beginning and not seven hours in!

2. Yelling at the screen didn’t work. Neither did reasoning with it. The (cough, cough) bars of chocolate with a red wine chaser, on the other hand, were perfect. . .. (Isn’t it fabulous how chocolate makes things better?)

3. Asking for help crossed my mind – two weeks AFTER I got the darned thing up and running. Yeah, it’s amazing what tools exist on YouTube, how many people way smarter than me figured stuff out like, oh, I don’t know. . . setting up blogs. I cringe now at the amount of time I’d spent banging my head against my desk — painful on soooo many levels!

To my credit, sheer determination kept me going. Perhaps it wasn’t the wisest use of my time, but. . . okay, okay, it was almost a total waste in retrospect. Still, it’s another example for me that I need to search for instructions BEFORE investing a day and a half of my life on something. Especially when a few hours would’ve taken care of it.

‘Fess up, now. Who’s done something similar? I promise I won’t tell! 🙂

-Melia

4 Comments »

  1. I am amazed and impressed that it only took you that long. lol I put in that much time and shelved the unsalvageable results. I’m going to finish the current WIP and then let it gel while I read the instructions and watch videos about setting up my website. Or maybe I’ll bribe Jessa. ;0)

  2. Ah, Laurel! I feel your frustration – trust me when I tell you the videos help so much!! As for Jessa, really great chocolate (and tons of it!) might work. 🙂 Lucky you to have her so close.

    Happy writing and blogging,
    Melia

  3. Hi Melia,

    I, too, initially bypassed the instructions for my website/blog which I have yet to debut.But then, I had a good excuse. I had another writer walk me through it and send me emails on how to go about it. Of course, I quickly progressed beyond the basics and then I was in trouble. I had to go back and find the instructions. Yes, it’s a headache setting things up but it’s also exhilarating. For me, promo is fun. You did a great job with your site!

  4. Thank you, Vonnie!

    I initially wanted to pay someone to do this, then got talked out of it. Sigh. Which reminds me that I owe Jessa a whole lotta chocolate for that piece of genius!

    Seriously, the beauty of doing it yourself is that you get to set it up EXACTLY the way you want. And you can upload and update on your own schedule. All in all, I’d honestly say the headaches are worth it! Of course, I can say that NOW. . .. A few weeks ago you’d have witnessed a crazy woman!

    When you get your site up, let us all know so we can visit. 🙂

    Hugs,
    Melia