January 3, 2014

2013: Not A Year In Review

I wish I had the discipline to keep close tabs on what the fuck I’m doing with my time, but it seems as if not even the excellent Day One app can solve this for me. In other words, this isn’t another organized recollection about stuff I’ve done the past year.

Alexander at Odd Alice did the cover for The Writer's iPad
I did manage to publish The Writer’s iPad

I will share some random thoughts about my 2013 though, so that we can be over and done with it.

I’ve failed a lot. Let’s start there.

  • Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, 4th Edition (yeah that’s a mouthful) took its not so merry time. It’s all done and delivered now though, so the late Q1 launch’ll probably hold.
  • I’d wanted to publish The Writer’s iPad after the launch of the iPad Air and the iPad mini with retina display, but that didn’t happen. There’s a ton of things to blame, but I won’t because to me that’s just adding insult to the failure.
  • Remember that fantasy short story-thingy I published for free, in support of the Fireside crowdfunding campaign? Yeah, I’d wanted to finish the first story arc (three short stories at around 10,000 words each), but I didn’t. This makes me sad. I bet my freelance editor is even more sad, because he’s not getting any more money until he’s actually editing a manuscript…
  • The iPhone novel, well, that’s a tough one. I failed writing a novel on my iPhone, writing on a daily basis as the project stated. I did learn a lot though. Most of all that my outline for this particular project were completely out of sync with the mobile writing pace. The story’s done, and it’s shit right now, as many first drafts are. It’s also a bit daft, because it’s got the wrong length altogether. I’ll tally this one up as a failure that could morph into something else.
  • So you want more failures? How about not finishing the first draft of a novel, another two 10,000 word long short stories that’s on my plate, and the site you’re reading right now? There’s more though, like the shuttering of Appricorn, and probably a ton of other things that we could collectively agree to label failure.

Quite a list, it makes me want to drink. Oh yeah, I failed to drink less too, thanks for reminding me, brain…

It’s not all doom and gloom though. Here are some things I succeeded in doing in 2013.

  • I further strengthened my web agency Odd Alice’s hold over anything WordPress in Sweden. We’re also doing apps and APIs and spin-off projects, and have signed a bunch of lucrative interesting clients. So yeah, that’s good, as is the new office, or at least it will be when the bloody fiber is connected to the bloody internet… And all the furniture arrive. Never ever move during December, there’s some solid advice for ya!
  • The Swedish app newsletter Appmagasinet is appreciated by its readers, and it’s still a blast to write. I’ll continue doing this in 2014.
  • The Shrtnws relaunch was great fun. More on that later.
  • I published The Writer’s iPad, my first self-published ebook. It’s been an interesting ride to say the least, and my monetary investment (editor, cover, layout, the usual suspects in publishing) has been accounted for in sales. As noted above, I did want to follow up with a new edition (that’ll be free for current owners) when Apple announced new iPads, but that obviously didn’t happen.
  • I organized not one but two days at Sweden’s largest conference about the internet, Internetdagarna. Both the WordPress and the content day were interesting beasts. I also managed to host a few #wpbar meetups, where people meet, drink beer, and talk WordPress.
  • There were a handful of freelance articles, mostly technical, written during the year. I have no idea if they’re available online or not, nor do I have the faintest idea what they were. For some reason, I tend to drop any recollection of what I’ve written professionally when it’s published. It was great fun when the WordPress.com representative at Internetdagarna mentioned that he’d just read something written by me in a magazine on his flight, though.
  • What else?

What else indeed, because I honestly can’t remember! 2013 was a year dedicated to Odd Alice and that pushed a lot of things into the backseat. We’re growing at a high pace right now, so it’s a necessity for another 6-12 months, I’d wager.

Paazu's sleepy
Paazu’s sleepy

On a more personal level, I’m happy to tell y’all that my vinyl collection grew, and we got ourselves a new high-end stereo, as well as a dog (a shiba inu called Paazu – photos). I’m still living in Stockholm, Sweden, with my girlfriend and no inclination to move. If there were any doubt, I can confirm that I still enjoy peaty single malt whisky and great music played loud.

2013 was a rough year for me, with a crazy workload. It might not be a lesson in life to anyone else, but then again most people’s lives aren’t. As with most things I do, I’m already starting to forget about what the past year held for me. I prefer to live in the present, to do new things, and to keep moving forward. The past is past me, the future is unknown, but the right now is something I can shape and mold into interesting things and experiences.

I’m shaping the now right now, as a matter of fact. You see, I need to refill my whisky glass, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Here’s to a great 2014, folks. Happy New Year!

Thoughts? Let @tdh know on Twitter, or find me elsewhere. There is also a newsletter.