As web publishing possibilities grow, I become more and more overwhelmed. It seems impossible to keep up, and I admit — I sometimes I use that as an excuse not to. The rest of the time, I just muddle through the best I can to keep our web sites up to date, functioning, and performing to their best ability, which is directly limited to my abilities.
Several years ago, I used to obsess over my web sites and blogs, learning and experimenting and playing with what’s out there. That’s how we ended up with our Cafe Press store at www.twolaneshoppin.com, and sites like the one I created after the 2003 flood.
But while I worked as a newspaper reporter, my knowledge of web publishing stagnated while I focused on writing. When we launched Two-Lane Livin’, I realized my web design knowledge (and web design program) were severely out-of-date.
When we became involved with WV Uncovered, I decided to use WordPress as our publishing platform, and began to learn and play with it. That was a year and a half ago, and I just now am feeling somewhat comfortable with it. I don’t try to push my boundaries too much, and I admit — I’ve spent time I used to spend on web work and play now on learning to garden, can, make rugs, relax.
However, our continued involvement with WV Uncovered, and the appearance of a new “web savvy” friend in my life, I realize that I have been neglecting the web sites of our lives. When you have multiple web sites in multiple levels of completion, with multiple purposes, it seems that everyone of them has loose ends. On top of that, I don’t even know off the top of my head how many different domain names we own. I’d have to look them up. Some are parked, some are forwards, some are hosted — I have a hard time keeping track.
The two main domains I work with are twolanelivin.com and wvcottages.com. The first, of course, hosts the magazine online. The second is a domain name I’ve had since 1997, and I just have never let it go. It hosts this blog, even though the blog’s “domain” is twolanebloggin.com. Then, there’s our youtube page (twolanevideo.info), our scribed page, our payloadz page (twolanepubs.com), our etsy page (fralimi.com), and others long forgotten or yet to come.
Our web sites are full of “we could possiblies” and “yet to comes”.
Web design work is a time sponge, much like the internet that hosts it. I start tweaking one of our sites at 4 pm, and with a break for dinner, could still be tweaking at 2 am. That’s what happened the other night, and my sleep schedule is still out of whack.
The main page at wvcottages.com was completely outdated and served no purpose, so I created a new entry for that. I found a new Worpress PlugIn for twolanelivin.com that provided better meta tags and descriptions. This blog’s version of WordPress was outdated, so I thought I’d upgrade that too — and that’s where it all went down hill. The upgrade crashed the site, and at 2 a.m. I sent a frantic e-mail to the server technician. He replied within minutes.
See? Web work seems to draw (or create) night owls.
I think about our hopes to create audio and video features for our web sites, our dreams of having our own internet tv channel, of the interactive possibilities of the future.
And I think, “then I’ll never get any sleep.”
You know, I never really do adjust to winter hours. Daylight Savings Time ends, and my whole world is basically just screwed until Spring. It’s not too noticable at first, but as we enter into the holidays, then winter, I know and notice — the Empress Has Lost Her Groove. By the end of February, I’m in full-blown cabin fever mode from a sunlight-deprived deficiency of Vitamin D. I’m wound tight, in strained anticipation of “Springing Forward” and getting my groove on again.
I think the worst of winter is the new schedule my body and brain take on. I’m up until 1 or 2 a.m., then want to sleep until 9. It doesn’t help that Frank gets up at 5 a.m., and then falls asleep after dinner around 9 p.m.
Now, some folks will automatically think that because I sleep until 9 that I’m not getting anything done. It’s just the opposite. I’m out like a light at 8 a.m. because I was up until 2 painting the kitchen, adding three chapters to the novel that’s been 14-years in the making and I haven’t touched in two years, cleaning the oven or scrubbing the inside of the toilet tank, or putting new shelf paper in all the kitchen cupboards.
See, some insomniacs will remain awake in bed, tossing and turning and “waiting” for sleep to finally come.
Not me. I got tired of that crap years ago. If I’m antsy and still wide awake at midnight – I know I’m not getting any ZZZs for at least two more hours. Two full hours where I’m not likely to be interrupted — at all.
May as well get something done.
The secret to these projects is that they must not be related to any of the issues, concerns, worries that may tend to make you lose sleep. The trick is to work hard so you become more physically tired, but to direct your mind and thoughts at something completely outside the reign of any stressful mental issues.
This helps for two reasons:
1. When you do finally poop out and fall over to sleep, you go out immediately.
2. When you wake up in the morning, your mind will have likely — during the diversion of the previous night’s project – found a new perspective or outlook on anything that has been recently perplexing.
For me however, there is a glitch. I have a low, low tolerance for caffeine. My daily caffeine intake is a single cup of coffee each morning, heavily diluted with half-and-half.
This cup of coffee must be completely consumed before noon or — I’ll be up at midnight, reorganizing the pantry or hanging different drapes or, wrapping gifts and addressing Christmas cards or — writing a blog entry about insomnia.
Yesterday, we had our CEOS Christmas Meeting. In the gift exchange, I got a gift set of gourmet flavored coffees – which I love. None of them were Decaf.
I drank a whole pot myself today – Chocolate Caramel — the last cup being sucked empty around 2 in the afternoon.
I knew better. I knew with each heavenly sip that I was just winding myself up for a long night. I bet in fact, this night lasts until the sun rise. And I HAVE to get up EARLY tomorrow and venture out into the REAL world. Arg.
But it was Chocolate Caramel!
Alas, I have no discipline…
Well, there’s nothin’ I can do about it now, short of chugging a bottle of Benadryl and putting off the self-punishment until morning…
Hmmm. I know there’s a roll of pre-pasted wall paper I bought at a yard sale last month around here somewhere. I think I’ll go redecorate the bathroom.