Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Be Here Now: The Joy and Terror of My Own Domain Name

Dear Readers, 

Let me start with some important news.  I purchased my own domain name for my blog.  My new blog address is http://www.ohmyachesandpains.info, but don't worry because Blogger and Feedburner promised me you will still be able to find me, even if you type in my old blogspot address.


Oh My Aches and Pains!

With that announcement out of the way, let me describe for you what it felt like to take this step as part of my Be Here Now November experiment:  

In my endeavor to be a good blogger, I regularly Google blogging topics and educate myself on how other bloggers wiser and more successful than me do it.  I ran across the term SEO in my searches, which stands for Search Engine Optomized.  What I think it means is making your blog easier for search engines to find you.  One of the pointers repeated over and over emphasized the importance of getting your own domain name, which makes the whole SEO concept work better for your blog.

So I was working on my blog and saw a link in Blogger to get your own domain name.  I clicked on the link and entered my blog name.  The .com version was already taken, but the .info version was available.  I turned to Robert, who was sitting next to me at the time, and said, "Hey I can get my own domain name for $10.  The .com is not available.  What do you think about OhMyAchesandPains.info?"  He thought about it for a moment and replied," I think .info would be fine since you are blogging and giving people information about living with chronic illness."  So then I said, "Do we have $10 in the budget for me to do this now?"  He replied, "Sure, go ahead."

I felt so excited.  Here I was on the verge of making a real commitment to my blog.  Then I felt sort of scared.  I was making a real commitment to my blog, to continue to nurture and grow it, to develop its identity, to allow it to make a statement to the world "I am serious about blogging about my life with chronic illness."  Rather than judge my feelings, I just felt them.  They were neither good nor bad, just the human expression of how we all feel when we take on a new project.  We are all ambivalent and uncertain when we start something new.  In between "This is so cool!" and "I can't believe I am going to do this." are the questions "What happens if I fail?" and "What will it be like if I succeed?"  I felt the feelings and let myself with O.K. with them as I proceed to purchase my domain name.

I actually asked Robert to double check my entries on the purchase form before I hit send and completed my transaction.  I wanted to be extra sure that I entered in everything correctly.  I could blame the brain fog, but more likely it was my excitement, happiness, nervousness and apprehension that made me doubt myself for just one moment.  After I hit send and received my confirmation, I felt joy.  

This commitment to blogging represents me taking a risk and putting myself out here in a way I can no longer do in my in-person life.  I feels good to take a risk again.  I feels good to start something.  I feels good to be a blogger.  In a weird and wonderful way, this blog is a gift from my chronic illness; I don't think I would have discovered blogging as busy as I was in my previous life.

So with terror and joy, I took the next logical step to help my blog grow.

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