2017 was an interesting year to be sure. I mostly remember it as the year where I Did Many Things Wrong.
That’s a good thing. You learn more from what you did wrong than from what you did right.
In an ideal world, which doesn’t condemn people forever and ever for doing the Wrong Thing, but is gracious enough to let one try, again and again, we would accomplish so much from trial and error. No fear of failure.
We don’t live in that kind of world, alas. But oh, one can hope.
I’ve learned loads from writing an original story and doing it wrong. Earlier in the year, I sensed A Study In Magic: The Application was heading in the wrong direction, but I didn’t know what, how or why. I learned so much trying to fix it.
There’s a buzzword in the IT industry: Agile. One of its mottos: fail fast and fail often. What’s not mentioned: so you can fix it quickly.
You only discover the nuances when it’s wrong.
When I first kludged together this website, I knew I was going to get things Wrong. I did my best to prevent the worst, but still: So many things were wrong because I didn’t know the things I ought to consider.
Next year, I’ll be moving web hosting providers because SOMEBODY picked the wrong one. I’ll learn how to backup MySQL databases and restore them to a different provider. Then I’ll move the rest of the website and make sure it works. I’ve learned how to optimize websites and what makes them slow because I was trying to figure out why the first version of my website was so bloody slow (according to Google Analytics).
(If this sounds like Greek and Hebrew to you, then yes, this is why people hire techies like yours truly 🙂 )
While most authors, from the sound of it, hate website management and IT things with a seething passion, I found it enjoyable. It’s more predictable than publishing, which requires guesswork and luck. But even here, same principles apply. Try different things until something sticks. Will you know why something worked? Maybe. Maybe not. But you’re more likely to find a workable one even if you’d be damned if you knew why.
Here’s to another year of trying many things and doing it wrong.