2014: The Good, The Bad, and The Crazy

Back at the start of 2014, I had just quit my I.T. job a few weeks prior, with the goal of making enough money by the end of the year that I wouldn’t need to go back to I.T. I had several ideas I wanted to pursue, from photography to writing to hypnotherapy, and entertained high hopes of working on them all. In retrospect, it was a bit naive– I think if there’s one thing I’ve learned this year, it’s that starting a new business of any sort takes a hell of a lot of work, and that splitting your attention across multiple ventures in this regard is kind of a good way to ensure that none of them get off the ground.

This year has basically turned into a year of photography for me– which is different than I expected (I had hoped it was going to be a year of writing), but I don’t regret it. I’ve enjoyed my photography, and I feel like I’m close to being able to do it professionally– in fact, I am doing it professionally, just not often enough that it makes for a viable career yet.

Setting career aspirations aside, I’ve accomplished a lot of things that I’m proud of in their own right. I finished my Journeys in Seattle project over at my photoblog, successfully doing a new photo expedition in the Seattle area every week of 2014. I got involved with Go To Games, and went with them to several conventions both inside and out of Seattle.

And of course, I went to Nepal for a month, and got to visit Hong Kong and Seoul, as well. That was something that hadn’t been on my radar on January 1st; the opportunity arose mid-year and I decided to take advantage of it. I’m really happy that came along; it’s the sort of experience that can to benefit you for the rest of your life, in real but often intangible ways.

In the writing world, I managed to get a new novel written, and am most of the way through the second draft. I want to continue working on that, but I’ve found that writing needs to be something I pursue for fun, not for a career– at least, not now. The fact is, I don’t have any idea which of my various writing projects might translate to commercial success (if any), and so for now I need to pursue my writing without worrying about that– otherwise it’s almost paralyzing, as I wonder how I can most effectively use my time, from a monetary perspective. Should I focus on Project A, or project B? Will drafting project C pan out? The fact is, I don’t know, and don’t have enough information to even make a guess. I need to be able to work on project A or B or C as my creative muse sees fit, and then once I’ve finished a couple projects, then I can see and learn how they pan out from a moneymaking perspective. But needing them to make money is a bad idea, and isn’t beneficial from a creative perspective– I had thought it might be, in terms of being a good motivator, but that hasn’t panned out.

Career consideration aside, though, 2014’s been a good year for me, personally. I find myself in a long-term relationship– which is certainly something I didn’t see coming when I was planning my “break year” eighteen months ago, but is nevertheless a welcome surprise. In addition to going to Nepal, I got to take a backpacking trip to Canada, vacationed on the Oregon coast with my Dad, and went on quite a few hiking and camping trips to places I’d never been before. My depression flared up occasionally, but never cripplingly so, and I feel like I’ve generally gotten better at handling it when it does. Granted, working for myself meant that I could devote energy to myself and take breaks when I needed to… which is a luxury I may not have in the future.

I’ll post another blog in the coming days with my goals for 2015– posting more on this blog (as opposed to my photoblog over at Journeys in Color) will be one of my goals, particularly as it relates to current events and social justice issues.

In the meantime, I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year! And best wishes to you and yours in the coming year.