Last year was a roller coaster.
I spent the first seven months working on my book, Learning jqPlot. The writing part was not too difficult. It just required me to sit down and write. The hardest part was dealing with the beta readers and editing. One reader criticized everything I wrote and it felt like he was calling into my competence as a human being.
After several late nights questioning my choice to write a book, I persevered and finished. As of this writing, I have sold about 30 copies. Far less than the publisher projected but more than I thought. A few weeks ago, I came across a review on Twitter of someone that bought my book. They enjoyed the narrative-driven approach of the book and learned something along the way. Mission accomplished.
Summer and early fall were busy at work. We finally got a break and got another developer up to speed on some of the projects where I was the lone developer. This took some pressure off me and freed me up to take a vacation in October.
Looking at the big events of last year and my three words for 2014, I feel I did an adequate job of reaching those goals:
Content - Little by little, I’ve focused less on the next five years or where I think my life should be. I’ve focused more on the work in front of me and my current friendships. I’ve tried to talk with my coworkers on a more personal level. I’ve focused more on the good things about my job instead of trying to find reasons to leave.
Mentor - One developer, whom I worked with closely, left our company this year. However, we hired another one and he has taken over some of my old projects. As I walked him though those projects, I was ashamed of so much of the code. But as time has passed, I’ve learned some things from him and I’ve noticed him asking for help or advice more readily.
I also got to work in tandem with one of our designers on an internal project. We were in charge of designing the interface, the interactions, everything. It was nice bouncing ideas off of him and getting a designer’s point of view on problems. He has also been ready to ask advice on some pieces he was working on.
Adventure - I got away in October for a vacation. I went to Taos, New Mexico. It was a great time to enjoy some hiking, reading and exploring the area. I couldn’t get cell coverage in the house I rented so it forced me to disconnect.
Aside from my trip to Taos, I also spent a week in Toronto for training. I had class from 8 to 4 but I was free the rest of the day. So I explored the train lines and walked through downtown, both above and below ground, on my way to the lake.
I also took several Saturdays and went for a day of hiking. It was nice to just walk and let my brain unwind.
I accomplished a big goal this year and it’s something I’ve wanted to do for years. I always thought I would write a fiction or regular non-fiction book but you’ve got to start somewhere. All in all, I’m happy where I ended up in 2014.