Don’t Let Overwhelm Overhwelm You

It’s likely this post will be late, because… well, let me explain that one.

Yesterday was a day from tech hell.  In this era of app integration, I’m still somewhat amazed that disparate apps can talk to each other and automate some amazingly complex processes.  Yesterday, though, two of them decided to not play nicely together.

It started off with a very simple thing:  A field in my shopping cart software would not switch to “required” instead of optional.

That was the start of a day-long rabbit hole of tech support calls, live chats, and lots and lots of reading involving long words and acronyms.  I had two app developers pointing at each other, saying the other was at fault.

I was also blithely told to get my site developer to resolve the issue.

As I am the site developer, editor, content manger, and chief cook and bottle washer, that was a spectacularly useless suggestion.

I sometimes get the feeling that many tech companies just flat don’t understand the indie publishing world, or authors.

There was a point (around the time that suggestion was made) when I could feel all my frustration rising up inside me, like a noxious froth.  It would have been very easy at that point to throw my hands up in the air and storm away from my desk and binge on a TV series or two, instead.

The only thing that stopped me was the realization that there was no one else who could resolve this, and it must be resolved.

That realization brought calm.  An artificial calm, and a stoical patience, but they worked enough to let me roll up my sleeves, start researching, consult the Great Google when needed, and work my way step by step through the jargon and concepts.  I made a mirror site, stripped it of everything useful, then started adding plugins back in until I found the culprit.

Then it was a matter of tweaking a dozen different settings in that plug-in, and the associated API settings on a different site.  The range of possible settings between the two ends of the conduit were exponential, so I chose not to consider that number at all.  I might have puked, if I had.

I’m not a coder.  I’m not a tech-head.  I have a robust tolerance for technical talk, but I am 100% self-taught.  Yesterday was overwhelming.

Yet I got through it.

If I can, you can to.  What overwhelms you and makes you break out into a sweat might be different to mine — formatting books, or creating ePubs.  Marketing.  Creating print books.  Covers.  For every indie author, there is an aspect of indie publishing that seems completely beyond our capabilities, but we’re usually so short on revenue, that paying someone else to take care of it is not an option.

Learning esoteric subjects in order to do it yourself is worth it, even if you only have to do it once.  Knowing how something works gives you confidence to direct contractors, and know they’re not trying to con you in any way.

After recovering from yesterday, now I am catching up on what didn’t get done yesterday, including this post.

It’s one minute to 10 am.  I’m not late, after all.


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