After reading several articles which declared that all writers should have a website – whether published or not – I decided to take the great plunge into the vast ocean where dot.com dreams come true.
So I followed the WordPress step by step guide and, with an ease which surprised my technophobic brain, made a website and launched my ship.
Except now that I’m out here my cruise ship feels worryingly like some bits of old 2×4 tied together with fraying rope, floating around with no clear direction. So why exactly did I make this website? A sudden burst of imposter syndrome struck as I logged onto it for the hundredth time to read the content I had already committed to memory.
So I messaged two friends. The first a self-taught photographer who reminded me that if you are good at what you do then you are good at what you do, and that half the battle is believing that you are good enough.
Still, those self doubts creep in and fester like woodworm, burying themselves into an already rickety vessel. What if I’ve made a website to promote myself as a writer but I’m not actually a good writer?
Rejection letters from publishers and literary agents line the back of my mind and whisper ‘character building’ and ‘give up’ in equal measure. And now I have a website but to what end?
The second friend I messaged worked in publishing, commissioning books and promoting authors before taking a career break when she became a mother. Her take on a website? Not as important as my research suggested. So why have one?
I expect it would have been helpful to work out why I wanted a website before I started sailing but as usual I have jumped in before checking the water. So here I am, floating along and wondering why. Here are my conclusions:
The Destination – to be a published writer. I don’t believe having a website will do that. I believe writing a good book will lead there and, as my friends reminded me, self belief and a little bit of luck.
The Journey – I know I work best when I feel accountable to someone or something. Right now I feel more determined to write more, write well and justify to myself that having an author’s website was worthwhile.
So this website is my sail, my oars and my helm. It’s going to keep me focused on the destination and enjoying the journey. I don’t think I will magically arrive at Destination Published by getting on the boat but I know that being on the boat is better than standing on the shore.