a practical option
Freelance writing is going, but right now I feel like a mouse on an exercise wheel. I’m writing about some things I love, sure, but I’m not cut out for hardcore journalism (sounds dirty!). I’ve never been that into interviewing, and I don’t sit down with blurry eyes and coffee in the morning to read BBC. I usually go for Storychord, dooce, The Diagram.
I’ve been bouncing around some other options in my brain for more lucrative ventures. Living with an engineer is starting to rub off on me I guess, or maybe it’s that he customizes his code in such cool colors that I think, Hey, I can do that. It looks interesting, stimulating and intellectual; let’s give it a try! Ohh, purple keywords, I liiiiike! Are keywords even a thing in codespeak? Who knows. Not I.
This sort of “code crush” coincided with a family member asking me if I could make a website. I’m rocking WordPress, yes, but can I make a website? Can I make it from scratch? Can I figure out how to extract data from an Excel file on the web or even figure out how to link my domain name to my hosting service? Can I? Of course I can! So, as I’m scrunching my face and googling “how to blahblahblah” (and wondering what the hell I should even start with), I say to my smartypants engineer boyfriend, “Um, I don’t even know where to start? I don’t know what to google…”
And he of infinite answers says, “Try AcademicEarth.org. They may have free lectures on web design.” And lo and behold: free lectures on building dynamic websites, from a Harvard professor no less. So it gets real.
After watching one lecture (just under two hours in length), I know much more about the web than I really ever did. But I still can’t make a website. I don’t know that I’ve ever been patient in learning a craft, but I’m fairly certain patience will become my best friend if this website-designing thing is really going to pan out. I realize that I’m lucky to have the time to watch such long, involved lectures, and I also realize that you don’t learn anything unless you really want to. The hardest part will be to stop daydreaming of being a website developer, and to start biting away at all the things I need to learn.
Step one: Find out what these elusive acronym-like names mean. PHP, XML, SQL, Ajax. Brain freeze!
Step two: Eat the elephant.
Okay, universe. I put it out there. Now I must hold myself to it.