DIY or pay someone to do it?

DIY? Or pay someone else?

It’s been a week of frustration. Tearing out hair. Gritting teeth. And – I admit – quite a few swear words, all directed at my poor, beleaguered old laptop. And why? This website.

‘Pay someone,’ a friend advised. ‘You’re getting paid for your writing now so it’ll be tax deductible.’

Now I don’t actually know what I can expect to earn as an unknown debut novelist, but I’m not expecting it to be much. I don’t know how much it costs to have someone else design your website either, but I’d hazard a guess that it’d be a lot more than my royalty cheque.

But money isn’t the reason why I am doing the website myself. It’s satisfying. It’s creative. And I’m enjoying learning something new.  

Throughout my life, I’ve had an awful lot of fun – and a few mishaps too – doing things myself rather than simply paying someone else to do them for me. I’ve fitted a kitchen and plumbed the sink in myself; I’ve self-published a couple of books, doing everything from the marketing to the cover design; I’ve built a partition wall; tiled a bathroom; turned a gravel parking area into a lawn; and made everything from cakes to curtains.   

One of the biggest things I’ve tackled was the catering for my (first) wedding. There were about 90 guests; I’d never cooked for more than 6 people before. Everyone enjoyed the food – at least they said they did – and as far as I know, no-one got food poisoning or even reached for the Rennies.

I’m not the only person who gets a huge sense of satisfaction and enjoyment from doing things myself. About a decade ago, I greatly enjoyed a book by writer and artist, John-Paul Flintoff; Sew Your Own was described as ‘true story of a man who set out save the planet and ended up making his own Y-fronts’.

So in a slightly ironic twist, I won’t write the final sentence of this blog post myself, but will borrow John-Paul’s words instead. Doing things myself is about ‘the powerful feeling of responsibility and capability that I’d never have felt if I got in the experts.’

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