Putting Together This New Website Was Like Writing a Book — and was a year in the making (sounds like an epic film, doesn’t it?)
A New Home for a New-and-Improved Vision
My new website, “Naomi Rose: Encouraging Your Flowering,” is such a major remodeling of my old (multiple) sites that it’s more like tearing down a less-than-ideal house down to the foundation, and building a dream house on that same foundation.
From the vantage point of this new site, I see that my old site(s) were like the Winchester Mystery House, where stairways went up to abut the ceiling, and windows opened up on other rooms. (The Winchester fortune was gained in rifle manufacturing, and the widow was told by a psychic that if she kept on building, the spirits of the dead affected by said rifles would be appeased or at least distracted from bothering her.) I would add on a piece here, and another there, and pretty soon it was a sprawling, disconnected thing, where you’d have to know where things were in order to locate them. Even I lost my way, sometimes.
So when it came to me to do a whole new website, I decided to spring for a Squarespace site and let its structure and features help me bring forth what I wanted to be let known. I knew that websites were supposed to be short and to the point — some form of store awning, or flashing neon light. But my work is developing books. And so I thought in terms of a book.
It has taken me over a year to put this together. And it has been very like writing a book:
The Phases of the Journey
“What do I do?” In this initial phase, I let my mind swirl in the stratosphere for inspiration — and also pored through every bit of my old websites to see what should be kept and what let go. (Not that confusion didn’t come into the picture; it really did. But I sought to stay attuned to what spoke to me, and what I thought would speak to others.)
“Trying out structures”: This phase was about seeing what form(s) could hold the nascent ideas that were coming. Eventually, this began to sort itself into “Services” and Products” and “More.”
“Written drafts”: This was a long phase, involving first drafts . . . second drafts . . . seventh drafts, etc. What did I need to say? What would be my tone? Or, as someone famous once put it, “How do I know what I want to say until I’ve said it?”
The “Visuals” phase took place concurrently with the written-drafts phase. Which images did I want to include to enhance the written words? And did I want to come up with my own images rather than using, say, Shutterstock freebie? Being an artist (even if a somewhat lapsed one), my answer was “yes.” So that took time and thought, as well.
The “Interweaving” phase took place concurrently with the written and the visuals phases. And here’s where it especially gets into the similarity with writing a book. In a book, whether nonfiction or fiction, there needs to be some continuity between Chapter 1 and Chapter 10, some arc or theme or notion that holds things together, even though they appear in different places. With my website, I wanted to make it clear to viewers that with all these pieces, there was a unity behind all the variety (from “Self-Publishing Mentoring” to chocolate). And this, then, necessitated:
The “Rewriting” phase (which is, actually, ongoing): as with writing a book, rewriting this website, this “mansion,” has been absolutely essential. Once the draft is down, rewriting is what connects what’s emerged in the later chapters with the earlier chapters. You don’t know in the beginning how things are going to unfold; only later, once you know what you have written, can you go back and plant what’s needed in the earlier chapters, and weed out what’s no longer needed. So, too, with this website. Once the connections began to show themselves, the going back and planting-and-weeding of rewriting was what made the whole thing look seamless.
The “Product” phase (this part has been fun, too): My initial thought for my online store was simply to sell the books I’ve published under “Rose Press” and my artwork. But as I kept mining the creative process of putting together this website, I realized that all sorts of products could contribute to people getting to have an inner experience — to bring about a certain kind of atmosphere — in which to write with more inner connection and confidence. Possibilities flew down from the heavens to tantalize and inspire: audio mediations for writers; Flower Essence Remedies for writers; special teas for writers; even chocolate! Beyond the products I produce myself, I investigated the possibilities, writing to reputable companies, and collaborating with a wonderful Flower Essence Remedy company.
And gradually, a whole new picture of my work’s healing properties and possibilities began to emerge. So now, not only was I developing a website as if it were a book, but I was also developing a series of products that supported the Writing from the Deeper Self approach and perspective. I felt enlarged, abundant, generous, and happy.
The Point of this Website Is for You to Flower
While I hope you have gotten something valuable from reading about the journey of my website from “spark” to “finish,” in truth you don’t need to know all that’s behind the “Making of My Website” (in cinemascope!) to enjoy it.
What I hope is that you find the current website so inviting and fruitful that you make time to look through the pages, sample the wares (free and for sale), and see what it brings to mind for your creative expression(s). Because I have played on my last name and tag-lined this site, “Encouraging Your Flowering,” I hope you’ll allow yourself space to consider how your flowering might serve you and the world, and how I can be of service to you in that regard.
So explore this site at your leisure. Smell the roses. And then contact me so, together, we can see what kind of creative flowering is possible for you.
Be well and whole,
Copyright © 2019 by Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.