Day 120. It only took 119 days for me to accept I need to read a manual.

365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles
Day 120. Sunday, July 24, 2011

After 119 days I decided to break down and read some online resources on how to manage a WordPress blog. Until now I have accepted some very tedious quirks when cutting and pasting my text from Microsoft Word into the WordPress blog.

I usually spend a few minutes “cleaning” the text—by removing extra mysterious spaces between paragraphs, correcting really bazaar fonts that are selected automatically and making certain text bold.

After the first few minutes of reading the blog tutorial I learned some time saving lessons. I learned the blog uses XHTML code—not HTML. If I had known this on Saturday, I would have saved myself several hours of trial and error when I was trying to set up a new page. It’s not that I know how to code in XHTML—but knowing this information would have prevented me from trying to place HTML code when it absolutely would not have produced the desired results.

And in the interest of full disclosure I don’t really know how to code in HTML either—but I know my way around FrontPage adequately so I pretend I know how to code.

After reading more on the tutorials—I learned the reason why my text wasn’t remaining bold or italicized when I cut and pasted. Apparently, proper coding means you have to open and close a tag.

Well, the next obvious question. What the heck is a tag and how do I open and close it?

This led to another HTML/XHTML website that gave endless pages of tutorials on everything you ever wanted to know about writing code.

I really have no intention of being an expert. I just want to write a blog and post it efficiently. But I decided to roll up my sleeves and try to code from scratch without the use of FrontPage.

Easy as pie

The outcome… an actual posting that I didn’t have to “clean up” after I cut and pasted.

The Dale Carnegie principle I used is from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Get all the facts.

Instead of wasting additional time by blindly guessing how to post a blog page efficiently with minimal “clean up” time—I decided the best option was to read tutorials. Once I did this—I’ll be honest—everything didn’t magically come together. But after more educated trial and error I was able to solve some problems that have plagued me for 119 days.

So remember, a hands-on approach is admirable—but it’s in your best interest to get as much information first before trying to put something together that you have limited experience in doing. Try doing that dreaded task of reading a manual or asking a willing friend for help. This way you won’t waste 119 days like I did. Now I know how to make text bold and create a paragraph properly using code. 🙂