Writer: "But I don't want a website. What would I do with it?"
Agent/Publisher: "Post news about your books. Bits of your writing. Something about yourself."
Writer: "Look, I became a writer instead of an actor because I'm not all that big on being on stage."
Agent/Publisher: "It's the way things are done now, kiddo. Privacy is dead. Readers want to know about their writers. Get a website."
Writer: "But I only just retired my typewriter. I know zip about computers."
Agent/Publisher: "Hire somebody."
Writer: "Oh, all right, fine."
And so it came to pass. I'm not going to name names or post links to some of the examples of this type of site I've found, but they've certainly caused me to re-examine my own desire for a blog.
I had a site of my own, also called "darraghmetzger.com", up until very early 2014. I took it down because it had been originally built and populated by a very generous and helpful friend of mine in a format and using a program that I found incredibly cumbersome and difficult to use or update. And I couldn't blog on it, and I'd been told I absolutely HAD to blog.
But then, instead of immediately putting something else in its place, I went "tharn" (I use this word, which I took from Watership Down, a lot. It perfectly describes how technological challenges affect me most of the time). Build a site myself? From scratch? With a blog? Ye gods!! I had no idea where to start.
You have to understand, I really am a total technophobe, Yes, I have to use computers at work for almost everything I do. The deep loathing and suspicion I hold for them is mutual. I can crash a computer just by sitting down and touching the keys. Really. My ability to summon the Blue Screen of Death with a few keystrokes is just this short of magical, and has been noted by colleagues on many occasions. No one can screw up a program faster than I can. My laptop has been into the Geek Squad so often, they know me on a first-name basis. I'm a running joke among my tech-savvy friends. I refer to my phone as a "Fred and Wilma" model. I have a Twitter account, but have to use my computer to post to it because my phone is too old. And I have no idea how to tweet, so don't even remember to check it every week.
Still, this being 2014, I have to deal with computers every day. And each time I get asked to learn a new program, or sometimes just enlarge the limits of what I know with the programs I use, I still get that cold knot in my gut and a tiny voice that probably springs from something in my childhood squeaks, "I can't learn that or do that -- I'm too stupid, too old, it's too hard." Every single time, I grit my teeth, sit down, get to work, and power through it, learn what I have to, and move on to the next challenge. But it never gets easier.
But on the other hand, I genuinely love learning new things and enjoy most challenges (as long as they're not related to computers), so weeks later, I finally girded my loins, and with the help of another friend who was willing to tutor me, I put together the current TFA Press site. Check it out. I'm actually pretty darned proud of it. With that under my belt, I felt ready to tackle my own site again.
And promptly went "tharn" again.
Now, almost a year later, I've finally realized that I cannot possibly achieve my writing goals in a vacuum, and I need to move into the 21st Century (however reluctantly). I need feedback, interaction, and input from other writers as well as my fans, and I need a vehicle to allow for that, since e-mail seems to be going the way of the dinosaur as well.
Ergo, a blog.
I hope to post contributions by other writers, comments on my current and previous works, the tie-ins between my work and my life, and so forth. I hope you'll tune in now and again. And feel free to send me a note or a comment.
My e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org