It’s five o’clock. I have been pouring over the “Dummies” book for a total of four hours. For the last week, I have tried to put in my time judiciously every day to learn WordPress. My usual method of assault on anything concerning new software is to jump in and start dog-paddling around. I hate instructions and figure if a program is worth its salt, I should be able to noodle around and figure it out.
The base problem is I know what I want but can not seem to find a way to get it. So, I acquiesce and go to the online tutorial. It’s bright, friendly and ultimately useless. It doesn’t shed any light so I go to YouTube for help. In my mind I can see what my website should look like; the instructions all seem to be about stuff I can’t find or don’t want to use. I have a huge disconnect here. The more bogged down and frustrated I get, the less I want to work on the project.
Today, I bought the book, WordPress For Dummies, and realized I don’t even qualify as a Dummy! Skimming the table of contents I found the themes section and dove in. The number of choices was overwhelming. I went back to the tutorial and chose the theme used there. It promised to allow me to customized my header photos, menus and other parts of the layout. Good! This was all I am trying to do without having to change any of the underlying code.
I hit a button. As I wait for a response, I see another option that looks even more promising. In that split second before the original choice loads onto my screen, I go for option number two. Unfortunately, that doesn’t look right at all and now I can’t remember how to get back to the beginning. I feel like a mouse in a maze. I am hitting dead ends and just wish I could crawl over the wall to get back to the starting point.
Just as a slim ray of hope emerges and I think I know what I am doing, the skies open. A thunderstorm rolls through and knocks out my Internet connection. Stop everything, crawl around the desk to reboot the router and wait to log into the network. Now the frustration level is bordering on dangerously explosive. It must be palpable. Alice rises from her nap under the desk and slinks away with a worried glance over her shoulder.
“OK,” I think. “Don’t be a Dummy, just pick up the phone and call the help desk. Perhaps talking to a human would solve this.” There is no human help desk. What I find is forums and links to the same tutorials I have already been through. Just typing HELP into the search box brings up every post in my own archive that has the word “help” in it. I’m like a dog chasing my tail.
I sit back and realize my jaw is clenched so tight my head is aching. It would appear this piece of software was written by wicked elves and I picture them sitting back having a good chuckle over my total lack of ability. In my mind, the time spent trying to learn this part of my newly chosen career, equals time lost on actually writing. So for now, my blog remains in Blogger, my website is cobbled together, and this post is not going down in the record books as one of my more inspired.