nothing is more freeing than working on something that's yours
It's been about a year and a half of working on my own website, and this year I had an epiphany that nothing I do in my career is going to give me the freedom I feel when working on my own personal projects.
It's honestly disheartening. I've hopped around jobs quite a bit since graduation, mostly so that I could earn a better salary, but I think a second factor that played a role in my looking for new jobs is that nothing ever quite satisfied me. I worked for a virtual private server company, a sports company, a marketing company, and now an education company, and I still don't feel like what I'm doing is making a meaningful impact. And no, I don't feel like I've ever been "part of a family" at my job - that's some crazy shit.
I know I might sound nuts to others, such as blue-collar workers. The idea of working a cushy job and not feeling satisfied is a ridiculous problem to have, but I'm hoping at least some other people can relate. There are honestly some days where I fantasize about going back to the restaurant industry because at least there you feel like you're providing a very tangible thing and seeing instantly how you're affecting others' lives, even for just one meal.
Inversely to working my day job, building my own website gives me way more purpose. I'm writing some of the best code I've ever written, I get to experiment with whatever features, colors, technology, etc. that I want, and there are no wrong answers. I'm not concerned with how many people are using it because to be quite honest, I expect nobody to be using it. And I get to put it out there on the Internet and feel a sense of pride.
Apart from my own work, seeing what other solo creators are putting out there is really inspiring. I adore services like bearblog. Watching a single person build something you can quite literally see giving other people the means to create is motivating. I enjoy reading all the blogs people are writing on the platform before I sleep at night, and sometimes I'll take a peek at the changes the webmaster, Herman, is making.
Right now I think I'm in lull period on the creation front. In the meantime, I'm trying my best to pick up other productive habits that make me feel accomplished. Right now I'm doing these things on any given day:
- Going for 3 mile (~5km) walks
- Weight training
- Learning spoken Cantonese
- (and obviously) working on Basement Community
This post is turning into a total stream-of-consciousness, and I don't have a pretty bow to wrap this blog up with, but I will say this: To the reader, I encourage you to spend a little less time consuming and more time creating (it could even be making a Bearblog and writing)! Putting something out there and spending time maintaining it and getting it perfect and just how you like it gives a really good feeling.
feel the same way? discuss it on the forums at basementcommunity.com.