A year or so ago I hired a web designer to give me a more glamorous presence on the web. Since 1995 or so I had been maintaining a webpage that I had built using free tools from WordPress, and though I enjoyed the work and the constant updates the page had an amateurish feel; I was, I felt, established enough now to have something designed. The problem lay in the aftermath. I had enough money to pay someone to design the site but not enough to pay them to maintain it, and I was stuck suddenly with a sophisticated site on a complicated platform that I never did get the hang of. Unlike some of my writer friends, I do not excel at graphic design and web construction. The page felt amateurish because I was a rank amateur. The new page looked much better, but after a while I gave up making updates and adding information. All the books were there, but I no longer posted readings and reviews and accomplishments anywhere except on my Facebook author page.
Then a miracle happened. My hosting package expired, and I didn’t renew it because at the time I couldn’t afford to. When I finally did get the money the contents of the fancy new page had been deleted. Of course they wanted to design me something new, for a fee, but suddenly I saw an opportunity. My old page, amateurish or not, was much more fun. I felt more involved with the page; it felt more immediate. And so I have returned to it. With my ongoing obsession with contemporary art, I have decided to feature an artist occasionally in the header graphics. This month (although suck at making regular changes and updates) is the Quebec artist Rita Letendre. I have no idea what it will be next month.
So my page looks like a child created it.
I’ve always preferred the warmth of an amateur to the cool designs of a pro.
Let’s hope, for the sake of immediacy and passion, that I continue to act, and to write, like an amateur all my life.