My new initiative concerns my website. It is old, as am I. It can be renewed and in a way, so can I. The transformation for us both is essentially internal. For me it’s a change of perspective and for the website it’s a change in plug-ins, widgets and content. But once these modifications are complete the appearance of the website will be different than before, while I will remain the same old man I see in the mirror on those occasional mornings, when I determine there is a need to shave.
The transformation of us both is taking place, as usual, with the help of someone younger than myself, someone more computer literate, and certainly someone more prone to take risks in the digital world. Her presence confers on me the mantel of being in charge, while remaining clueless as to the actual functions she is implementing, which need to be activated to achieve the desired result.
This is all humbling to my aging ego. But if I am to make progress in the current age of communication, then a little humility is an acceptable currency I can afford to expend in the name of progress. There are some other concessions I must also make if I am to look my best in the virtual marketplace. Chief among them is a new identity.
It has been several years since another young friend set me up with a website promoting my consulting services for non-profit organizations. The emphasis of the content then was to highlight my experience with strategic planning, budgeting, accounting, financing, fund raising, and volunteer recruitment. Good stuff all, but no longer in keeping with what I truly want my retirement life to entail.
Escaping the bean counter imprimatur of my professional career, I am resurrecting one of my youthful aspirations and that is the role of being a writer. My new website will promote this identity first and foremost, while allowing the past to remain just that in an honorable fashion befitting its former success.
My seconded concession is closely related to the first and that is a change in persona. Self-promotion has never been a characteristic of my work. Low-key, restrained, and stable are the terms the people who know me would likely use if asked to describe me in one word or less. And in public that will continue to be the case. I am those things as I occupy any tangible arena.
But on the web a new character will be evident; one who is letting his various forays into event planning, marketing and public relations to further define his enhanced identity by using titles like producer and director as well as that of writer. Once the website is completely updated, it will hopefully justify my claim to such fame.
A modicum of humility will also be in evidence as I make a third concession in order to moderate the excess of the cosmetic appearances of a new identity and persona. This concerns my pursuit of being published. In all likelihood my website will be the extent of my public presence. So the site is going to suffer from serious overload of content rather than just containing headlines, blurbs and images of book covers that published authors can get by with. They have more, which you can find on a library bookshelf or download from a service like Audible.com. I am not surrendering to something inevitable, just resigning myself to the internet being my one and only publishing house.
The trade-off is a change in attitude. Bean counters are not allowed to be creative or frivolous. That mindset is all behind me now. The point is to enjoy these moments to the fullest. If self-proclaimed titles are all I have, then I say let’s celebrate even this modicum of success and have a little fun.
Humorist Will Rogers once quipped about the income tax making bigger liars out of us than golf ever did. Now we have the internet and our websites offer a far more robust opportunity for fibbing than Rogers ever imagined. And once the weather improves, I’ll start working on my golf game.