Ending My First Chain

On April 28th, I vowed to write a blog post a day until I had to go to Europe. Of course the real threat was that if I failed to do so I would have to give 500 dollars to the Republican party, most likely to John Boehner. In my original post I said I would write till the 27th but I've moved that date up so I can spend tomorrow night packing and wrapping things up in the city before I head out on my trip. So tonight's post will mark the end of my first chain which means it's time for a little post-mortem.

Why Did I Do It?

Everything started because of a blog post written by a fellow named Chris Strom. Chris wrote every single day, for a year, and in that time he managed to self publish 3 books. I think many people would be happy to publish a book in like a couple years. At Chris' rate he was cranking one out nearly every 3-4 months. Amazing.

I started thinking... this whole writing thing has got to be like exercise. If you just will yourself to do it, it'll be hard at first but after a while surely it becomes a habit. And who doesn't want to be in the habit of exercising more?

Writing, self-reflection, discovery... these are really important. I get by in my career by reading the stuff that other people have been generous enough to put down on the page (or blog, as the case may be). If I have a problem I just type it into the little magical Google box and out pops an answer.

That's fucking incredible!

But that system doesn't exist unless some of us pay back into it. None of this information that we take for granted is being churned out by some machine. It's churned out by people! And do you know how hard it is to churn out meaningful, useful information with depth and substance and ethos?

It's fucking hard!

And because it's hard, like exercise, most of us don't do it. Well I say, fuck that! We can all be better at what we do, especially if it's going to be our life's work. For me that means setting aside some time to work a little extra and write about my successes and failures. It means willing myself to push beyond what I normally think I can do and hoping that if I stick with it, eventually pieces will fall into place, doors will unlock, and the heavens will rain cheeseburgers and High West rye whiskey.

What Did I Learn?

In the process of writing every day, for 60 days, I learned a ton. My posts were at times very scattershot, Ruby one day, D3.js the next, random Sublime tips after that, etc etc etc. I get frustrated and I need to switch gears. This is something I have to work on.

There was a part of me that didn't think I would be able to go all 60 days. I have been a total quitter more times than I'd like to admit and the older I get the more I realize what a massive disservice that is to one's self. Finishing isn't the most important thing, it's the only thing. It doesn't matter if you finish in a fucked up death race mobile covered in sinew and tree branches... just finish!

What's Next?

So what now?

Well I've got two ideas kicking around. One is to keep following in Chris' steps and to self publish a book. I was dead set on this until a very fateful evening when I watched Indie Game: The Movie. Now I can't get the idea of self-publishing a very tiny game out of my mind... Thankfully I have 3 weeks in Europe to think it over :D - Rob

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