Still Life Photography by Eryl Shields

Drowning in a Lack of Expertise

When I was a child my mother would call in a plumber to change the washer on a dripping tap; it would never have crossed her mind to do it herself. We weren’t wealthy, she, a widowed immigrant with four children, cleaned hospitals to feed us, but she believed in expertise. If a job needed to be done she called in someone who had a track record in that area, which allowed her to get on with the things she could do. She didn’t have time to waste faffing about with plumbing, and, anyway, it’s unlikely she’d have had access to a manual.

These days we have free access to manuals on every subject in multiple formats thanks to the internet: want to build your own house? watch a You Tube video. So we rarely call in experts. But the demise of expertise began long before the internet arrived. In my adult life I have built a kitchen; tiled a bathroom; put up umpteen shelves; installed light-fittings and dimmer switches; built a bed and god knows how many book-cases, and fixed a zillion broken things. And now I am trying to make a website, for the fourth time.

I’ve done two for local charities, and this is the second I’m building for myself. The first one was great, I loved it, but it’s come time to pay for the next year and I can’t afford the same package. I was hoping to just move onto a cheaper one until things picked up financially, but, no, they only allow you to upgrade. Although I understand the need to secure their income I find this infuriating. Had they allowed me to downgrade they’d have kept my business. As an emerging freelance artist my income is currently unpredictable, and always low, but I need a website. I need a website so potential customers and funders can see who I am, what I do and can do for them. So I need a provider I can trust. And it would appear I can’t trust Wix.

Thus I find myself, once again, faffing about in a field way beyond my level of expertise, in a faint panic, and having to sideline my creative projects. I have till Friday to get this done, and I have just requested the code to transfer my domain name away from Wix. Now I hope it hasn’t been removed from my old site yet. I really do need as seamless a transfer as possible, it could be a disaster if someone to whom I’ve applied for funding clicks on the link I provided for my website, and finds nothing…

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