Today I was trying to make an article for Makermag. I think the title will be ‘Killing your side projects’. Here’s a peek at a draft:
This post has evolved from an article I hastily published the other week about building emailOtter. The initial article talked about my process of balancing side-projects, but it wasn’t a great read as I didn’t consider the person reading it.
This new post is more actionable, and includes more resources around the topic, so I think it’s much better. I would have liked to have finished the post today, so it could go into the makermag newsletter but once again, TAX got in my way.
Last night I was doing the tax job, and made a complete mess of all my accounts. I didn’t realise Quickbooks doesn’t have a ‘rollback’ feature, so now I have to start the whole thing over from January 2017! Here goes…
I’ve started a new WordPress site as a place to write random thoughts from working on my side projects and building a business. My old Keystone.js site is here, but I’m slowly migrating it over to WordPress.
Why WordPress? 😶
There are tonnes of new options for running a blog that include hosting and everything. As simple as they all sound, I find they usually create extra work at some point down the line.
With WordPress, I get a great CMS, lots of open source plugins, and the new Gutenberg editor isn’t bad. If I need a new feature, there’s usually a plugin for it. I don’t care about page speed, static pages or anything like that.
Alternative Writing Communities
As well as creating a new blog of my own, I did consider joining these writing communities. They are great, but for now I decided to stick with my own space.
200 Words Per Day
200 words per day is great, but I found the writing prompts (e.g. “you have x hours left to write before the end of the day”) and red badges created a pressure that made me a bit anxious, as I don’t need motivation to write – just a place to do it.
A good alternative to 200 words a day is writetogether. The community looks friendly and welcoming, but at $8 per month I had to give it a miss for now.
Right here, I have a clear space, free from prompts and extra noise.
I think it’s Student loans who have been ringing me every day for the last week. I don’t answer because I know what they want.
They want me to send them a letter with my bank statement from the month of July only. I don’t send it because I have not got a printer, and haven’t walked past one for months. I wish I could just email them with my statement, and they print it at their end.
They have been chasing me for 10 months to send them updates. I left my job in January last year, and since around March, I feel like I’ve been on the run. Every time I manage to print and send something, I miss a few details, and they ask for more.
The cycle continues as the deadline is extended by a month each time.
A similar problem happens with online tax. I can’t even log into the Government Gateway without requesting a new password each time. I then give up and end up paying late because I struggle to use their confusing system. Surely paying important bills should actually be easier than buying a subscription to nomad list.