That. Was. Painful.
Wednesday to Wednesday
I haven’t posted here in over eight days. And, my website said “Scheduled Maintenance” for a solid week. A little explanation may be in order.
In ramping up to my current challenge and looking ahead to the future, I realized two weeks ago that I want to keep my writing business simple, efficient, and focused on the production of new books. Early last week, I became fixated on the demands my website arrangement placed on my money, time, and most of all attention, for results that seemed debatable at best. Not for the first time, I found myself thinking of adopting a static website, generated by Jekyll or Hugo or Nikola, and it seemed that I could embrace maximum simplicity, efficiency, and focus with a simple switch to one of those generators. I identified my options and weighted my values among them, and it seemed that a static website was the clear winner.
So, in the middle of last week, I began to make the switch. I thought it would take me a day to change over, and two or three to get everything slick. After all, I used to code this site by hand, and I still make my own tools for making ebooks. How hard could it be?
That was a mistake.
Taking down the old website was easy, a couple hours, but I massively underestimated the time to create the new. Every time I answered a question, two more popped up. Success kept feeling like it was imminent, but it wasn’t. Day by day, a week went by.
The static website generators are not impossibly complicated, but they are different, and they require some learning, not hours, as I originally thought, but days. At least. What’s more, the code that I used to use to generate my static content has suffered terribly from bit rot, and though I could certainly get it running again, it would take days, at a minimum.
And you know what I’m not doing when I’m coding templates and generators? Of course you do.
What kept me going was the idea that I was creating something significantly better, and that giving up would make the whole thing a waste. What finally made me stop and go back to WordPress was the realization that my experience trying to change proved that the benefits of simplicity, flexibility, and freedom lay with WordPress. If the object is to have a website system that my daughter and wife can help me with—and it is—then the best answer, right now and maybe forever, is WordPress, not a static site generator.
Soon after midnight on Thursday, I began the change back. Though I had completely taken the site down, I estimated that it would take me only a couple hours to restore from backup. About fifteen hours later, I had most everything back in place.
The past week was a terrible mistake, but at least I learned something important about myself: Though I used to code websites by hand, and I happily made generators for creating website parts, I don’t want to do that again. Not ever.
I want to make books. And some other creative works.
But not website code. Never again. I am done.
So, thank Matt for WordPress. And everyone else who contributed to it and made the plugins and themes I use.
Meanwhile, About Those Deadlines …
I’d like to say that at least I kept my writing production on track, but I didn’t. And the Universe did not grant me an extension on the events that form my hard deadline.
So, I am way behind, much behinder than before.
I have adjusted my goals. They are more difficult, but nowhere near impossible, and still not the highest levels I’ve produced.
I need only to stay focused and work my plan.
Friday morning I begin again. With new wisdom about myself.
Wish me luck.