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?)
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 one(s) was 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 — not a remodeling so much as a rethinking, revisioning — 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
First was the “What do I do?” phase, where 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.
Then was the “Trying out structures” phase, seeing what form could hold the nascent ideas that were coming. Eventually, this began to sort itself into “Services” and Products” and “More”
Then there were the “Written drafts” phase — first drafts, second drafts, seventh drafts, etc. What did I need to say? What would be my tone?
At the same time, there was the “Visuals” phase — which images did I want to include, to enhance the written words? And, being an artist, I felt the desire / need to come up with my own images. No Shutterstock freebies for me! So that took time and thought, as well.
At the same time of the same time, there was the “Interweaving” phase — and here’s where it especially gets into similarities 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 all these pieces sprang from a single source, and returned to a single source; that 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 in writing a book, with this website (this mansion that I have, assiduously and with the Grace of God, created) rewriting 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, 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 online store was initially going to sell the books I’ve published under “Rose Press” (my own, included) and my artwork. But as I unleashed my latent “merchant self” and looked into affiliate marketing, I realized that all sorts of surprising products could actually help bring about a certain kind of inner atmosphere in which my clients and website visitors could more readily write. Not only audio mediations and such (soon to come), but also Flower Essence Remedies, and fragrances, and special teas, and even chocolate! I investigated the possibilities, and wrote to reputable companies, and collaborated with the Flower Essence Remedy practitioner — 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. How exciting!
The Point of this Website Is for You to Flower
You don’t need to know all that’s behind the “Making of My Website” (in cinemascope!) to enjoy it. In fact, I hope you find it so inviting and fruitful for you that you make time wending your way through the pages, sampling the wares, and seeing what it brings to mind for your creative expression(s). Because I have chosen to call this “Encouraging Your Flowering” — to go with my name, and also to encompass not only book-writing but also other forms of writing, as well as even non-writing creations that this same process I use can help with — I hope that you will allow yourself the 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 come visit. Stay a while. Stop and smell the roses. And then contact me to see what’s possible for you.
Be well and whole,