Friday, August 04, 2006

Going Live

My good friend Sharie Conard is a featured performer at the International Gospel Music Fan Fest in Columbia, TN next week. TCT Broadcast Network will air six live shows.

Singing. Live, onstage, in front of thousands and broadcast to millions. Sharie can't wait. I'd be OK speaking... but singing -- no, thank you!

Going live -- giving others the chance to see you in all your flawed glory. And, in this culture, that means opening yourself up to the inevitable criticism, glitches, snafus, and snags that crop up in any endeavor. Not for the faint of heart.

The online newsletter I've been working on for the past month is done. It's a demo version -- only available to the select few who have agreed to help me test it. My editor, however, opted in to see the demo... and never got it.

We've been trying to see if her spam filter is working overtime, or if there's another reason for the glitch. I was hoping to take the newsletter live this week. But there's no point in going live until the demo works.

In the past month, my wonderful husband has designed, tweaked, and posted online two full, functional websites.

One, Muse Ink, is a site for writers and experts who want to be writers. It offers coaching and consulting services, writer's workshop and seminar leadership, and free articles on writing. Eventually it will also offer mp3 downloads on various relevant topics and educational products to help writers get their words out.

The other is a site for my illustrated children's book Carol of the Horse. It introduces the project, plays the introduction to the song that accompanies the book, tells a little bit about each of the principal people involved, and includes ordering information. I think he really outdid himself with the site -- it's gorgeous!

Taking both sites live was nervewracking, though. These are pages that present aspects of me to the world. God forbid that there should be a typo on a page offering help to writers! Or that there's a glitch in the ordering process! Or that a programming hiccup makes a 14 inch right margin with all the text squished unreadably into a quarter-inch strip on the left hand side...

One of the most valuable lessons I've learned this year is: It's not about Perfection. It's about Progress.

If you wait until something is perfect, it will never get done. Nothing will ever be so good that it can't be improved. Often, however, taking something live will illuminate what needs improving in ways that simply working on it alone will never bring to light.

For good or for ill, both sites are live now. I'm proud of them and of my husband. He did a great job. If you visit them and find a mistake, accept my apologies in advance. Then tell me what you've found and I'll fix it. I keep reminding myself: Progress -- not perfection.