Friday Fable: the Writer and the Missing Links

You may know the old story, “The Fox and the Goat:”

foxPrologue: A fox fell into a well and couldn’t get out on his own. He swam there for a while making plans…

5 hours later: A goat was walking through the farm, just minding his own business eating a shirt, when the fox called to him from inside the well, “Hey there, handsome, I bet you’re feeling thirsty after eating that shirt. Why don’t you try some of this delicious water?”

The goat peered into the well and saw the fox swimming on his back with a big smile on his face. “Jump in,” invited the fox. “It’s so refreshing on a hot day.”

So the goat jumped in without a thought. Immediately, the fox climbed onto the goat’s back, scooted up his horns, and hopped right out of the well. Once safe, he completely forgot that he’d fallen into the well like a dimwit this morning. He laughed at the poor floundering goat and said, “You didn’t think that one through, did you?”

And the moral is: Look before you leap, and think before you act. 

That is a good old tale, but if Aesop were a modern slave to the written word, he might have called his fable, “The Writer and the Missing Links:”

Prologue: A writer started a blog upon the publication of her first book. As well as her ever-shifting home page, she made a permanent page about herself, and another permanent page about her book. She blogged irregularly for a while, adding a new permanent page for each book she published….

5 Years Later: The writer was sitting at her computer, working on revisions, when her inner procrastinator called to her, “Why not reformat your blog? There are too many pages listed in the header. The titles don’t fit. It looks disorganized. You should streamline.”

The writer looked at her stack of red-lined pages and thought, “It is Friday, my blogging day, and I do so want to appear streamlined.” So she put her work aside and took an hour to cut and paste all the book pages on her blog into a single page titled “My Books.”

"The time for fun - or for tediously updating blog links - is when the work is done."
“The time for fun – or for tediously updating blog links – is when the work is done.”

Perfect, she thought – until she realized that every single blog post she’d written over the past five years linking to one of her book pages now had a link that didn’t work, and anyone who clicked on one of those links would be led to an automatic WordPress message that read, “Well, this is embarrassing but we can’t find the page you’re looking for…”

That is so not streamlined.

So the writer wasted another hour updating links from old posts that probably no one would ever read, but you never know, until her right index finger started to cramp and she finally called it quits because it was 5:15 and she hadn’t even written her blog post yet, let alone finished her revisions.

And the moral is: Plan before you set up web pages, and do your blogging after work.

Have a great weekend.


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