The Stress of Coding

Recently I’ve become an ARC  reviewer for three authors. I’ve begun posting release blitzes and reviews on the authors’ time schedules and with their instructions. All have similar but different requirements. 

My humble, little blog isn’t fancy. I know how to write HTML code; I went to school for it. I just choose not to use it. Coding by hand is complicated and never easy so I opted out and use the “easy” way of posting. I chose the format that’s the least complicated. Coding is challenging, and it’s a headache. If one closing tag is missing or if there’s a typo in the code, things don’t display properly. And reading code is eye-crossing, often stressful and just tiring!

Most authors’ representatives send HTML code, and they send a word document with the text. The images are all separate attachments. I have yet been able to get the provided code to work right the first time. It should be a simple cut and paste process where I drop the code into my post and it should display properly. It doesn’t. There are either errors in the coding or an incompatibility with the theme or structure of my blog. 

One of the latest posts I did came in to me at the last minute and I didn’t have the time or the energy to create the post by hand. I elected to post the HTML as it came in. At 11:30 at night I was bleary-eyed and crawling through lines of code trying to fix missing tags. I was pleased I could still do it, but I felt as stressed as if I was back in school again, trying desperately to make a webpage work for a homework assignment. 

There has GOT to be a better way to do this. Perhaps it’s just because this is the first time around for me. Posting items created by others is surprisingly stressful, far worse than doing my own free form postings. Don’t get me wrong. I want to help other authors out. When I eventually get there myself, I want to know I can rely on the kindness of others spreading the word. I don’t mean to fuss over something I’ve volunteered to do, but Geez Louise, this stuff is nerve-wracking. 

I never thought my knowledge of HTML would be put to use promoting books for others. I always thought I’d create websites as a sideline and maybe supplement my income. I guess I should be glad I’m at least using the skill. My money wasn’t totally wasted!

Who knows? Maybe I’ll even get better at coding. 

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