How I Built My Website, By Accident

A February Goal, Met

But I’ve never considered myself a web designer. I’m not, right?

So when I started thinking about “building” my home page, I got really nervous.

What the hell do I know??

As part of my ongoing affair with the illustrious creative action guru, Tara Gentile, back in December, I set a goal of having my own website up and running by February.

I have owned the domain for literally years, but have done nothing with it, other than to build my blog “Letters from a Small State (previously “Letters from London, and Elsewhere”) on the subdomain: It’s a good blog and it’s changed a good bit over time with new themes, occasional videos, and many design updates.

So I guess I am not a newbie… but.

The Work of Intentional Unintention

So in January, I started emailing designers to ask them for estimates on the cost of building my website… I mean, I don’t think of myself as a designer and what the hell do I know about CSS and such?

In the meanwhile, I took some advice from Tara and chose a theme in WordPress (my current web editor) that was highly customizable and seemed easy to work with. (Thanks, Sayontan Sinta for Suffusion!)

Designers gave me estimates and I couldn’t get myself to commit to the cash… more procrastination!

Meanwhile, I filled my procrastination time with what appeared to be unintentional futzing… playing with my domain, adding widgets, using the beloved Picasa to create a header, writing an “About Page” and even adding a “Buy Now” Paypal button so friends and strangers can own their own Demand Poetry and decorate their life with more beautiful writing.

The result of my goal setting and my “unintentional futzing” was a completed website! One day, in February, I realized that despite my very busy schedule — and my attempts to stop myself with procrastination, fears, the certainty that I CAN’T DO IT — I had put together a home website.

Whoa. I mean, literally one day I was sitting at my computer looking at the site and I thought “Dude, look what I just did.” It was like waking up from a dream. Only when I look back I see the action is the real life, and the noisy voices trying to distract me are more like the dream.


I haven’t fully moved in yet. I’ll continue to use Tara, Problogger, and other website greats to build on.

I want to add a FAQ, beef up my Demand Poetry page, and add an online portfolio, along with a photo gallery. So for now, this is more like a quirky crash pad with IKEA furniture than my dream cottage on the hill. But it is home.

I haven’t ruled out hiring a designer to reorganize and repaint the entire spread, but I am thrilled that I, seemingly magically, completed a job I thought I couldn’t do!