#DailyWings: “When I write about a 15-year old, I jump, I return to the days when I was that age. It’s like a time machine. I can remember everything. I can feel the wind. I can smell the air. Very actually. Very vividly.” -Haruki Murakami
It was about six years ago: November 30, 2008. Minutes before midnight. I had just reached a little over 50,000 words for my NaNoWriMo novel, Sophie. All the endless nights of writing. All the story maps, character profiles, 20-page long chapters, granola bars, hot chocolate and word count math. After 30 days of literary frenzy and thinking nonstop about my novel, I’d finally reached my word count goal and won National Novel Writing Month for the first time.
It’s the same kind of rush that I’ve felt the last few months while creating this website. Besides NaNoWriMo, I can’t think of any other writing project that I’ve worked this hard on. The website just started out as a “new idea for a blog” way back before the summer even began. It was only when I asked my web designer and good friend Kimberly Li to work on a design with me that the idea started to take concrete form.
Like with my novel, thoughts of the website consumed my mind for days on end, and many times late into the night as well. Everything, from the category names of my blog down to the slender, crimson butterfly, had to be, if not perfect, as close to what I’d always envisioned as possible. By the time the launch date had arrived, my website was everything I’d ever dreamed of and hoped for – and ready to go public.
If you’re interested in creating your own writer website or taking on a new personal project, here are three lessons I learned from launching my website after months and months of just “thinking” about it:
1) Take your time in developing the project. Every detail matters. I was so eager to go ahead and launch the website in what was originally the beginning of November that I almost forgot to have a contact form made for the Contact page! It sounds tedious and time-consuming, but if you don’t think through every aspect of what you’re trying to create, then you won’t be 100 percent happy with it when everything is finished. You’ll wish you had spoken up sooner about the email subscription button being too close to the text box (when it comes to websites, trust me: your web developer will be much happier if you mention a problem now before the coding gets too complicated). You’ll wish you had spent a little more time thinking about the color palette.
2) Never forget the people who helped you get to where you are today. I am eternally grateful to Philip Jewell and Kim for taking a chance on my website. Without them, my website wouldn’t have even gotten past the design stage. Whoever your cheerleaders may be (your parents, older or younger siblings, piano teacher, chemistry professor, the blogging community), always remember and appreciate the people who were always there for you and believed in you. You should always take the time to include an acknowledgement in your project, to write a LinkedIn recommendation and/or to simply send a thank-you note for everything. Doing so won’t just remind you that you have a strong support network that has your back. It will also let your supporters that you’ve got theirs.
3) No matter what other people say, your dreams are worth investing in. Whether it’s time, money or other resources, figure out how to obtain what you need in order to reach your goals – and do it. For me, I was hesitant about hiring a web developer to bring my design to life. I kept thinking, That’s more than I would spend on a month’s worth of groceries! I can’t say how thankful I am that I decided to “take the plunge” and spend money on not just an excellent web developer, but also my personal domain name. Every day, we put funds toward luxuries like eye primers, French baguettes, sports jerseys and $50 dates. Your dreams are worth so much more. You just need to believe it.
What have you done today that has put you a little bit closer to achieving your goals? Do you have a writer website or blog? Share the URL below and I’ll give it a shout-out on Twitter!