As should be obvious to me by now, 2013 was very different from what I expected in 2012 . I gave myself pretty much free reign to do whatever I wanted, as long as I was creating. So naturally, I read a few books, did half of some MOOCs and didn’t actually create much of anything (sort of).
Here’s what I did:
- Travelled to the UK and Ireland in a whirlwind tour of London, Edinburgh and Dublin. Ate haggis, got mistaken for an exhibit at the Edinburgh castle (and scared some poor tourist half to death) and prayed for my life during the flight from Edinburgh to Dublin aboard a ATR-72
- Travelled domestically in the US to LA, Colorado Springs and Las Vegas (only Las Vegas was a revisit) for work and pleasure.
- Read books and wrote notes/thoughts about them. There are notes on 5 books on my blog, and notes for 2 more books in my little reading notepad. I’m half way through a 3rd that’s not on the site yet.
- Attended SXSW and started something crazy that I’ll get into in a bit
- Started 2 personal projects: PDF Stitcher and annot8 . PDF Stitcher was finished and deployed but annot8 hasn’t gone anywhere.
- Started and abandoned 2 more MOOCs: Algorithms, Part 1 and Functional Programming Principles in Scala .
- Had close to $14k worth of dental work performed after 4 years of no dental checkups. At last count it was 3 root canals and 7 crowns along with various other procedures. Taking care of your teeth is crazy important.
- Continued use of a physical journal
Even though the year was fairly different from how I intended to spend it, I’m happy with how it turned out. I realized a few lessons that I think were important, and I finally took the plunge to do something I’ve wanted to do for years but was always scared to.
I learnt that it’s OK to stop doing something if the situation changes. I started the MOOCs with every intention of finishing them, but life changed around me. My workload increased suddenly due to a co-workers relocation, and I didn’t have the time to finish. So instead of causing myself a whole bunch of stress by trying to spread myself too thin, I stopped doing non-essential stuff, which meant the MOOCs. I do intend to go back and retake/finish them when it’s more convenient, but for now I’m glad I didn’t force myself to finish.
After hanging out with my friend Mark at SXSW, in May, he, myself, and 3 other friends started a company with the intention of helping tabletop RPG gamers to create custom miniatures easily. A long time ago I realized that my career as-is is going to cap out and that business ownership is the next logical step. I’ve been saturated in the startup world for 3 or 4 years now, and only now have decided to give it a crack myself with more than a little prodding from Mark.
This was a pivotal part of the year for me, as the product we’re developing has pretty much taken all my time from that point on. It’s interesting tech, we’re at the forefront of a new industry and it’s a product I would defenitely use myself. I’ve already made a lot of mistakes and learnt a lot of things and I look forward to making more.
I’m going to approach 2014 with a similar philosophy that I wanted for 2013. I’m not going to stick to any rules other than “create things that are fun.” Right now, I’m having fun trying to build a product for a new company and imagining where we can go. I’ll push that as far as I can while still having fun and then see what happens.
I’m also starting a new project as well. I intend to put in work on creating art every day, and record it. I want to be able to look back on 365 recordings at the end of the year, and see progress on a skill that I’ve been meaning to recapture for a few years.
Finally, I’m going to keep journaling, keep reading and taking notes and uploading them to this site.
Until 2015, when we do this all again.