It's so easy to wallow in self-pity when things don't go right. As much as 2009 sucked on all levels, it wasn't all bad. As much as I want to sulk, the fact remains that I live a charmed life. Through some karmic luck of the draw, I've got a lot to be thankful for.
This past year was a year of simplication and basically had me letting go of all my personal projects—at least for the time being. I shut down SidebarAds, I never worked on Snitter, and I never finished Haylia, FontSmack or any number of other personal projects that I wanted to work on.
I have mixed feelings about this.
I gained more spare time but I'm not sure that I filled that spare time with anything truly useful. By the end of the year, I still feel that no Twitter client could do what I had envisioned with Snitter. No CMS could do what I had envisioned with GainCMS (a project that I've dreamt of since before going freelance).
2010 may be the year of the comeback and we'll see if I can harness my energies into any of these projects or possibly something new.
It was a quiet year on the blogging front. Long periods of silence were shattered with bursts of posts as I felt a rush of inspiration and then back to silence. With that said, a couple posts that were slated to be written for my own blog ended up being written for other sites, namely PHPAdvent and 24ways.
I have many more posts in the wings but need to get off my ass and just write. Many have signed up for Project52 but I've yet to commit to something so rigid. We'll just have to wait and see when inspiration strikes
I had ventured into screencasting and did a number of posts in 2009, which I'm pretty happy with. I would like to continue doing the same in 2010.
And yes, podcasting is still something I've been thinking about. But if I can't keep a regular blogging cycle, can I stay committed to a regular podcasting schedule? We'll see.
At the end of 2008, I made mention of possibly writing another book or even an e-book. As it turns out, I have begun work on another book but it has been a slow start and I hope to pick up the pace to finish writing by March. Half the problem is just getting the ball rolling. Let's hope things don't get sidetracked and this book gets finished.
Others have done reasonably well with the e-book model but I've yet to feel completely inspired with e-books unless they're short reads. Writing an e-book isn't high on my list for 2010 but as many other things, inspiration may strike and it may happen. I wouldn't hold out hopes for this one!
For over three years, I was a freelancer. I ran my own business. It was a freeing experience but one that was fraught with hassle and disappointment. In previous retrospectives, I flirted with the idea of getting out of freelancing. By the end of 2008, I had already come to the conclusion that growing my business wasn't something I wanted. I cemented my fate in 2009 by giving up freelancing for Squarespace and finally Yahoo!.
I've got the best of both worlds right now. I still live like a freelancer, working from home with my own office and computer, but enjoy the benefits of full-time employment working with people for a company doing some great stuff. I'm excited for the year ahead—a feeling I haven't felt in awhile.
Conferences and Speaking
Speaking engagements early in the year had to be cancelled, including having to turn down an opportunity to speak in New Zealand. I even missed SXSW. The first half of the year was definitely disappointing. However, the year ended on a high note. I got asked to step in at the last minute at Fronteers and had, in my opinion, probably one of my strongest sessions I've ever presented—all despite fighting a cold that had claimed my voice. I followed that up with the jQuery Summit which also felt good and very relaxed. I capped off the year by getting to speak at An Event Apart.
I don't have anything currently slated for 2010. I haven't actively gone after speaking engagements but may take a more proactive approach to get back in the game. Likewise, I'll be working with the other folks in Sidebar Creative to possibly see a resurgence of Sidebar Workshops.
Sometimes we have to tear it all down to build it back up again and, for me, 2010 represents a year of renewal. I have a renewed interest in web design and development and a renewed energy to share what I learn along the way.
Come along for the ride...