2016 was very hectic for me, for both good and bad reasons. Some of that busy-ness (business?) may not have been necessary, given that being busy is not necessarily the same as being productive. Looking back over the year, there were probably some projects that could’ve been skipped, but hey, 20-20 hindsight and all that. Looking ahead, 2017 is a whole new year, with all new opportunities to get things on track and moving forward!
Committing to write
This year, one of the things that I will do is get back to my blog, this blog. Last year, it never quite felt like I had the time to write. I definitely had ideas for blog posts, and I did do a bit of writing, but it was not really consistent, and to put together something of an acceptable quality level, just wasn’t something I could throw together in a weekend.
Sure, there’s the whole Medium-style ranting about technology that people seem so fond of these days, but there’s so much of that going around, and while those are fairly simple to crank out, I don’t want to contribute to the noise.
So this year, I thought, why not keep it simple? I have 12 months, meaning 12 opportunities to write one thing of substance. Sure, I could probably do more, but given how hectic things got in 2016, it seems fair to expect of myself at least just one essay a month. Well, I guess 11 essays, since this meta post is my one for January. But you get the idea.
Why start now?
Writing has always been important to me, to my design process. I mean, yes, smart interaction design combined with beautiful visual design is the best outcome one could strive for, but to get there, writing has always been a valuable tool.
It’s really easy for me to get into the abstract. Maybe it’s the way my brain works, but I always tend to think in terms of abstractions first and often times my ideas are a bit fuzzy. Writing is one of the tools I use that helps clarify and crystallize my thoughts. This is really important because once you have something concrete to work with, then you can proceed with a design.
Ironically, I did spend a lot of time writing last year, but it’s not exactly what you think. Most of my writing took the form of crafting 140-character tweets. While it was fun, and was great for connecting with the podcast audience and other folks, actively tweeting didn’t really do much else with a measurable impact. Not to mention, the political echo chamber that it has now become, or at least my timeline. Anyway, the point is, while it’s a great tool for some things, Twitter is not necessarily the best place for more thoughtful activities; and no, ‘tweet storms’ are not a real option.
So here we are.
Back to the keyboard
2016 was a good year for me, but it’s over now. Reflecting on things, I recognized that this was something that I needed to change and get my brain back to focusing what’s important. The podcast is going well, and that won’t change. I’ll still be doing other side projects as well. But it’s also time to get back my time to write. So here’s to looking forward to a positive 2017. I hope that you’ll join me in writing 12 posts this year. Let me know what you think. On Twitter of course… 🙂