As a writer I've always struggled with the necessity of selling what one writes. Writers, after all, are solitary folks who (on the whole) would rather write than engage with others. Then to actually have to SELL what one has written to those others ... shudder.
I'm not very good at it.
Photography, too, is a lone occupation for the most part. It's all well and good to tromp out into the woods with your backpack full of camera parts, then to tromp back home to pick and choose which images will survive (so much easier now in the digital age ... buh-bye image #10232 through #10321), then, you know, just look at what one has wrought. But then what? Oh, okay, maybe post them on Facebook. The positive feedback gets one thinking ... could I actually sell some of these?
So, one investigates how to do that. For days. Months. At some point one has to take a leap and one (okay, yeah, this "one" thing is getting tedious, despite its grammatical correctness). Ahem. At some point I had to take a leap and choose a Web site builder, buy a URL and starting building. That, too, is a lonely endeavor.
As someone who's worked in print and Web media for 30+ years, I'm blessed and cursed with that knowledge. Yep, I can create logos in Photoshop and know how to make a nice, cohesive, media package. I know my pixels from my picas. I'm also rather, uh, anal about doing things on the up-and-up. I needed a tax ID in order to sell, so I waded into the morass of Colorado governance.
After three months, I'm still waiting for the state to re-issue a license that actually spells my name correctly.
In the meantime, the expenditures are adding up: mat materials, ink, paper, other supplies, license and hosting fees, frames, etc. etc. etc. Can I please just go take pictures now?
NO! It's time to choose a shopping cart vendor, weigh the pros and cons (Silly highway joke for those who have seen their trucks: Q: What DOES a Conway? A: Oh, about 165, unless they're working out in the prison gym. Rimshot). There's the shopping cart vendor, then there's the payment vendor. At this point, unwilling to spend another dime, I go with FREE ... though I do a lot of homework, even on the freebies.
But, but, but ... I want credit card logos in my store. Fine, well, just do this that and the other thing in your Standard CSS Theme and, voila!, logos. Not even close. I do know that CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, but that stuff written there? Sheer nonsense with its < and dev and <hef and what the heck ever.
But, but, but ... the shopping cart vendor, the Web site seller and the payment processor all claim: Download and sell in MINUTES! What's three months in minutes?
Regardless, here I am, feeling inadequate, shy and silly. And I haven't even done the actual marketing yet! There's Facebook. And Twitter. Esty! Flyers to retail outlets. Newsletters ... hell, even this blog.
I want it all perfect, but it won't be. Not by a long shot. There will be glitches. Unsatisfied customers. Days when I don't even want to look at a computer, let alone edit new pictures and upload them.
Oh, yeah, pictures. I'll be out there taking them, relishing the reveal when I attach the camera to the computer and 20 ... 60 ... 200 images flow between them and I watch, moaning or squeeing (hey, that's a thing) over how they turned out, already deciding - in the milliseconds they flash by - which ones will hit the trash and which ones will be saved.
That's the good stuff and what makes it all worth it.