…I have decided to create my own website. I am conceiving it firstly as a means by which to show how my various publications and other projects fit together into a body of work (hence the static pages), and secondly as a platform on which to publish shorter pieces of writing that don’t fit into my publication schedule (hence this blog).
This is not an entirely comfortable endeavour to be engaged in. There is something quite exhilarating about a means of publication so instantaneous. But there is also something quite unsettling about the experience of paying to be heard. The moment that the monthly invoice for my server space ceases to be settled will be the moment that my work here disappears from view. It’s almost as if a librarian mafia demanded protection money from authors: pay your dues, or we ‘recycle’ the shelf space… I exaggerate, of course. A web hosting service is not a protection racket but a vanity publisher – a realisation already nauseous enough for those of us who grew up wanting to be writers but knowing that some kinds of publication could never, ever count.
There is also (I will be the first to admit) something quite hubristic about purchasing one’s own name as a domain name (not least because allowing its registration to lapse will result in its likely purchase by a cybersquatter). But as the list of my publications grows longer and more apparently diverse, I feel an increasing need to assert its coherence – which has always been obvious to me, but which may be less so to a distant colleague – and if the point of a website is to organise a group of texts that have in common a single author’s name, it’s hard to think of a more appropriate domain name for that website than the name itself. At length, I wrestled down my objections and pulled out my credit card.
So here we are.