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7. Building a Website

Over the last two months, I’ve thought a lot about whether the “next step” for my art should be a personalized website.

For the past three years, I’ve used to show and sell my art but, as I’ve grown, ArtPal’s personalization has been limited. Like any good junior high break up: I’ve come to realize, I want more than this relationship offers.

But a website? Of my very own? With MY name on it for an address? Cue the imposter thinking.

Is my stuff good enough? Will I sell enough to make back the monetary investment? Would a website that I design using templates end up looking both professional and personal? Can I keep it updated and running? Or will I get done and decide, looking back, that I was doing ok without it? (Like did I really NEED a trendy air fryer?)

The last time I faced down a big ol’ dream step that felt “impostery,” I poured myself a full glass of Coke on ice, opened a bag of M&M’s, and wrote the opening sentence to a novel. A novel? Really? Me? Oh please. But one writing session at a time, I did it. I completed 200+ pages, workshopped it, revised the hell out of it, and then never submitted it anywhere. Somehow (then and now) that felt ok: just completing it and setting it on a shelf.

Tonight, as I write this, I have my website built. It’s looking good with over 30 pieces of art listed for sale. I’ve synced it with this and that. So it’s like the novel– ready to submit– only this time, just building it isn’t enough. I need to click the button that reads “PUBLISH.”

Imposters, even the quiet ones, mill about.

On a British tv show last week, I heard the line, “What we don’t realize in asking for more is that we risk breaking what we already have.” I can write pages in response to that line. How, on the one hand, I can see its truth; how, on the other, I disagree with it fully. “What we don’t realize in asking for more is that we risk breaking what we already have.” I’m grateful that, at mid-life, I can recognize how that is the sound of FEAR niggling its way in, rationalizing away what you want, swaying how you make big decisions– and I recognize that voice because I’ve heard it before only I’ve listened. Yes, I’ve allowed fear to make decisions. More than once. Almost always regrettably.

So I need to hit the damned button. No one even needs to know it’s published.

I was a teacher for nearly 20 years. I wore that label easily, publicly, and people know what it means. Now, at 52, I’m saying that I am an artist and, to be honest, I am still discovering what that label means so I can’t blame people who also don’t know what that means and ask why I wouldn’t want to resume classroom teaching. Letting go of one established and identifiable career to jump into “artist.” It’s a lot. I’m sure the identity shift is part of the hang-up for me, too.

Much Madness is divinest Sense -

To a discerning Eye -

Oh, Emily Dickinson, thank you for the reminder. Maybe it is not so nuts for me to make this change. It does not need to make sense to those who knew me as a literature and writing teacher. I can move on to next things that interest me now. So here goes.


I did it. Not earth-shattering. No one even knows in this moment. But I did it. <big smile>

So it’s official. You can check out my artwork at

(12.17.22: Did I conveniently “forget” to share this blog post two weeks ago to keep this website nearly secret? Imposter? No, saboteur! But that’s for another day.)

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