2018 was a funny one. Not at all how I planned it. And I had some good plans.

I should have remembered that life with a second child wouldn’t start to normalise until closer to his third birthday. It was another year of sleepless nights.

I should have known about the house. I’ve done it twice before, after all. We bought it in December 2017 and had some budget to do some much-needed renovation, but we decided to take it easy. True to previous form, we didn’t take it easy…

I should have anticipated how difficult the renovations would be with two children, the last place having proved hard enough with one.

I should have been more wary of redundancy when the talk of the possibility of the company I worked for’s biggest client not renew their contract presented itself the previous October. But I had been employed for nearly a year and my freelancer’s wiliness had begun to soften.

I should have listened to my wife when she told me that Frontend NE was taking up too much of my time and I was burning out.

All those things hit me hard.

So what about this year?

This year I’m going to be more open to things that I can’t control changing. I’m not going to underestimate how much effort things will take. I’ll be less complacent when things are feeling comfortable.

More tangibly, I’m going to commit to something.

A commitment to writing

I enjoy writing. I used to write resources for the clients I worked for but it has been a while since that was my focus.

So this year I’m going to write and publish one article each week. A week feels right because:

  • It’s a long enough interval for a decently thought-through article
  • It’s enough time to accommodate life’s chaos and the unexpected things that will crop up
  • It’s a short enough interval to avoid over-editing/over-thinking
  • It creates a rhythm that will hopefully continue over subsequent years
  • I’ll be a better writer to the tune of 52 articles

Rules

Ok, so it’s a good idea. But we need some ground rules.

  • Articles can be about anything – they’re likely to be about design and front-end development but I’m not going to hold a good idea back if it’s outside of those subjects
  • An article can be long or short – if a point can be delivered in 200 words, it should be delivered in 200 words
  • Articles will be published at the same time each week – Wednesday morning feels right, so let’s go with that
  • I’ll try to write one article each week, in line with the publishing schedule, but if inspiration takes me and I come up with more, I’m allowed to keep articles in my back pocket. This will also help prevent any dip in quality
  • This article counts as number 1!

Anything else?

I have some other ideas but I’m wary of overcommitting, so writing is the only thing I’m announcing.

If you’re interested, here are some of the other things I’m looking at doing more of in 2019.

Towards the end of 2018, I enjoyed getting back into speaking and gave an ever-evolving talk on accessible design patterns three times at work and twice at local meet-ups. I’m giving the talk at work again in a week or so and am already giving thought to my next subject.

I tried recording the talk at each of the meet-ups but neither turned out all that great, so I plan to record it especially for YouTube. Producing video content has been at the front of my mind for a while now so subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when I post my next video.

See you here again next Wednesday morning!