A Change of Pace

Beginning with my last post, I have changed my blogging workflow. Before, I was typing up and proofing drafts in Google Docs, then transferring them over to WordPress, (which, as of this writing, is what this blog is built on, in case you’re into that sort of thing).

The main idea was that I would write a post and then have the ability to share with individuals to get as many eyes on the post as possible (a la Editorially). That was a pipe dream.

Now, I love Google Docs, but not for writing blog posts. For one thing, I write in Markdown to separate presentation from document structure. I don’t want to continually apply a format to imply content hierarchy when I’m stream-of-conscious writing, but that’s what ends up happening in Google Docs. I’m sure there’s a nice plug-in out there to allow me to write in Markdown on G-Docs, but I have yet to find one (if any one of you spam bots out there know of a good one, let me know).

What I’m really looking for is a way to visually represent the Markdown structure while maintaining the keyboard-only workflow Markdown offers, which is something Editorially did out of the box. Sadly, even WordPress’s text editor, which does indeed support Markdown, doesn’t do this, but at least I’m seconds away from a preview screen.

Another thing I don’t like about my old workflow was the transition from Google Docs to WordPress. It felt so disconnected. I can’t really describe it any other way. And now that I’m typing directly into the text editor, I feel a sense of immediacy or instant gratification. I think the change has even inspired me to write more.

It’s pretty amazing what a change of pace can do sometimes.

Year One in Review

As of this writing, it’s the beginning of 2015, and while most of my blog readers tend to be spam bots looking to link bomb me or sell me drugs in the comments section, this last year has still proven to be a great time of learning. First of all, I’d like to review my goals for 2014:

  • One blog post every week.
  • Build a digital portfolio.
  • Style this blog.

Okay, so, really, none of my goals for 2014 were met. Whomp whomp. Why, you ask? Well, here’s the deal:

  1. I’ve actually written what amounts to a blog post every week, but most of them have not been, nor probably ever will be, published. I’ve had trouble figuring out exactly what I want this blog to be about. I think in the long run I want it to supplement my design business and interests, but is my audience other designers or is it potential clients? Or maybe it’s something else? I really need to figure that one out.
  2. The digital portfolio thing is a little harder to excuse. I have the work, I just need to take the time to post it. I did, however, start a Behance account and got on Dribbble, so that was nice!
  3. Styling this blog has really taken a backseat to the other work I’ve done this year, first my wife’s website, then a self-initiated web app and laying out a 300+ page book. I’ve drawn and redrawn sketches for the site itself, but I think I need to live in this blog a bit more to feel it out, not unlike breaking in a new pair of jeans.

What I did in 2014:

  • I started blogging. This was really really hard for me, simply because I don’t see myself as a blogging kind of guy. Maybe I am. I don’t know. But finding something worthwhile to say was difficult. There are tons of blogs out in the internets that are much more knowledgable than I am regarding pretty much everything I can blog about.
  • I redesigned my wife’s website responsively from the ground up. That was fun.
  • I built my first web app in AngularJS. That was not fun.
  • I promptly started learning Backbone.
  • I attended two conferences, Circles and Front Porch.
  • I earned 15,807 points and 221 badges on Treehouse.

What I want to do in 2015:

  • Digital portfolio. Seriously, this needs to get done. No excuses.
  • Complete some advanced Computer Science education.
  • Attend online classes for UX certification.
  • Attend the Squares conference and 3 Meetups.
  • Be more intentional with this blog, and that means posting maybe every 6 weeks, if I have some quality content, and focus more on personal experience. Maybe even do some JavaScript tutorials (I’m learning some cool stuff from the book Effective Javascript).
  • Take a break from Treehouse. With all of the extra stuff I’m working on, there’s not much time for Treehouse right now.