What have you been up to? ROW80 Round 1 Week 5 Sunday



Novel Writing:  

It’s been kind of a weird week.

I spent wasted a lot of time trying to fix my WordPress site. Self-hosting seemed like a great idea at the time, but there’s a huge learning curve for noobs like me when things go wonky.

Plug-in conflicts and updates can totally mess up what was working before. So yeah, a lot of writing time was spent reading about scripts and stuff I still don’t really understand but it seems to be working better now thanks to the help of my hosting peeps.

That being said, I did get over 1,000 edited on one day and 500 the next, so there’s that.

I finished revising a short story I was working on and sent it out to a few members of my writing group for feedback. We are working on an anthology of humorous short stories. The proceeds will be going to the library where we hold our regular meetings. I received feedback from one writer already and he gave some great advice. More revisions will be in the works for next week.



Nada. My excuses are lousy. They range from distraction, to winter storms, sick kids and spending quality time with my husband.

I’ll do better next week.


Weather kept me from attending yoga class.  Nasty winter storms followed by freezing rain and icy roads. It was a low key week for me. I didn’t get much exercise at all.

I did take Burger out to the dog park for a run on Friday morning, however. It was raining, but we dressed for it. It was mild and some of the snow and ice made walking easier. He needed the exercise and so did I!


Other Thoughts

With all the struggles trying to get my self hosted WordPress site to work with the Reader on WordPress.com, I began thinking about making the switch to WordPress.com.

My original plan for Inspiration Pie was my author platform in addition to providing book reviews, and just a way to interact with other bloggers. With all the time I spend on Inspiration Pie, I have less time to devote to writing my novel. I think simplifying things will help with that.

As far as author platform, I am rethinking that. I feel I need my own website, with my own name. An email subscription list for an audience who is interested my work, and not just following for the sake of following.


What do you think? Do you have a dedicated author platform? Do you think it’s necessary to build your target audience?

Have a wonderful week and thanks so much for stopping by!



20 Replies to “What have you been up to? ROW80 Round 1 Week 5 Sunday”

  1. I have actually been questioning whether or not to make a move to WP. org. I probably won’t because I am so afraid of not understanding how to properly set things up. I have had my blog for over 3 years now and am still learning how to make my content searchable. I think your site is really nice and if you do decide to go with an author dedicated site, I am sure that it will be just as beautiful. 🙂


  2. You are asking that question at a tough time for me, and my computer! I am in the process of trying to update some “brand enhancing tactics” and I am frustrated with the process. We bloggers have to be our own IT gurus! I have thought about moving to a self hosting site but struggle with some basic computing issues. I just recently have come to the conclusion that I need a more powerful computer-so my next, annoying task will be to convert everything over and start figuring out what to keep and what to dump! If you go for it, bring your patience with you 🙂


    1. Ugh! I feel for you! Switching to a new, more powerful computer is exciting but transferring over what you want/need can be such a pain in the butt!

      Patience, yes. It can be a challenge holding on to it when you want to chuck the laptop across the room! That’s when I really need my yoga. Breathe!


  3. I’m not an author and have only used WordPress so, I’m not the right person to answer, but I think whatever you choose to do will work out just fine. Excited for you. ❤ Take care, Jo-Ann!


  4. I use WordPress, and I have an author site and a blog. My blog is actually under a pen name that I may or may not use, and I haven’t really addressed the fact that it’s not my actual name in terms of readers finding me. I’m sure someday I will, though.

    Hugs on the issues. The author I work for is starting into e-commerce, and I’ve been putting everything together for her and it’s easy in some ways and complex in others. So I understand the frustration.


  5. What a crazy week! I use WordPress, but the free version although I think I’m going to switch over to their basic paid one soon although that will take me forever to do since I have no idea what I’m doing, LOL. If I were in your situation, I would probably have an author site and a blog site. I do think it would be easier if you switched to WP since then your blog would be seen in Reader. But you have to do what is less stressful for you and works best for you! You really are making progress with your book though!! 🙂


    1. I think you’re 100% right that Inspiration Pie would do much better on WP. I’ll work on that learning curve in the next couple of weeks. I’m already planning my author site and trying to figure out what I’ll even write about lol.

      What advantages would you get on the paid version, Stephanie?


  6. I’ve been a web developer in my day job for over 15 years. And yes, I use self-hosted WP for my website/blog. Thing is, even for a techie like me, issues like yours can still be oh so frustrating and time-consuming to work through, so don’t feel bad! Looks like your site is functioning well now, so why mess with it?

    As far as an author site goes, yes, you do need one. However, you might find going to WP.com restrictive now that you’re used to a self-hosted site. There’s so much you can’t do there, especially with themes and plugins. I found that out when setting up a site for a writing group there. It’s a great option for some, but for me, it was maddening when I was used to doing whatever I wanted.

    But in the end, you should do whatever you’re comfortable with. Hope my alternate perspective helps, and good luck whatever you choose!


    1. Well, that makes me feel a bit better to know that even the pros get frustrated!

      My son is a programmer, but he doesn’t know much about WordPress. In fact, when he was in school and they had to create a wordpress site, he just tore the code apart and redesigned it himself. He hated trying to make things work the way they were already laid out.

      I think I will self host my author site. I’m not so concerned about getting wordpress followers so much as a following from a targeted audience. That minimizes some of the conflicts I’d experience from trying to communicate with wordpress.com. SEO will be my new learning curve!

      Thanks so much Jen! Have a great week 🙂


  7. Hi Jo Ann, I was interested in your comments about self hosting. I am in the process of having a new website created for my author profile. I am paying someone else to do it though as I am not that good at that kind of thing. She will maintain it for me too going forward. I have yet to see how it works out but I wanted unlimited space for photographs.


    1. That’s awesome that you’re getting an author site! And you’re smart to let someone else deal with the setup and maintenance. More time for you, you’re writing and creating.

      Yes, photos are such an important part of your work, so that will be great to have lots of space.

      I’m looking forward to seeing your finished product, Robbie! When will it be ready?


  8. I think we authors do need a platform. I use wordpress.com, and while I like the ease of use, there are some things I wish I could do that I can’t, and it can feel a bit restricted at times. I also want to build an email newsletter, but am not sure how to go about doing that. It needs to be one of my next steps, though, since I’m now submitting. I feel like most of us are just learning as we go, and I think that’s okay. Good luck!


    1. I have MailChimp for an email newsletter. It was pretty easy to set up and I connected it my site with a widget.

      I know wp.com is more restrictive, so I’m not sure if that widget would be available.

      I don’t get a lot of signups on my newsletter, most of my followers are through WP. And of course being self hosted, I’m not as easily seen in the reader.

      When I first started my blog I had a pop up that asked you to sign up. That was another widget that may or may not be available on wp.com. I do find those popups a bit annoying so I took it off lol

      So my plan now is to go with a self hosted author platform that will target an audience interested in my books and material. I will focus less on getting wordpress followers and use SEO to attract subscribers. Thanks for wishing me luck and I’m sending good luck wishes back!


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