It’s been a while…
It’s been at least three years since I last updated my website (2017). That’s been bugging me for a long while now. Part of the hiatus was due to a change of focus to posting on my DeviantArt account. However, I got tired of that as well. Part of it was I was busy with my studies at Drexel. But mostly I just found maintaining my site to be a chore. I figured it’s about time to re-think things. So I tore down my old website and I’m starting over.
What I’ve learned
Looking back over the past few years, I’ve realized the following:
- Maintaining a website can get tedious. And that can kill motivation to keep going.
- Don’t bother promising that “I’ll write about this later”. It probably won’t get done without further motivation.
- If a complete explanation is going to be too tedious to get done, writing something simple and self-contained is better than nothing.
- I have many, many GitHub repos. Many were experiments I probably won’t get back to. There’s no sense spending time writing about everything. Focus on the projects that actually came to fruition.
- My works are small and made purely for enjoyment and learning. Most of my projects will result in a proof-of-concept, then I’ll move on to something else. This used to bother me, but I think this is okay. My style is to make a variety of small works. As long as I can produce something that has something concrete I can show others, I can be satisfied with this.
- From my time sharing art on DeviantArt, Instagram, Twitter, etc. I’ve learned:
- A detailed comment with constructive feedback is worth much more to me than simpler likes/favorites.
- Likes/favorites seem like eating a donut. It might taste good at the beginning, but I’m not gaining much value there.
- A few followers that engage in discussion about your respective works is much more valuable to me than trying to win a large following.
- That said,
- I do like talking about my projects, but I don’t write about it as much as I want to. I need to find ways to make it less tedious.
- I’m very haphazard in my passion projects. My motivation comes from what’s interesting to me in the moment. If I take too long, I get bored and move on.
- Though my interests are broad, they’re tangentally related to each other. Math and science inspire my art, computer graphics is one of my artist’s tools. That said, I definitely want to find ways to coalesce these topics into more focused projects over time.
- I feel like I spend a ton of time exploring my passions and not enough time improving my skills. Particularly in programming and computer graphics, I feel like I should spend more time reading about the state-of-the-art and actually practicing things I learn.
- My projects have very technical UIs with way too many features for the average person. Spend more time focusing on how to make something presentable to someone without a technical background.
What to do about this
What I’ve already started to do
- In the past year or two I’ve become less active on social media. The distraction-to-benefit ratio is just too high. I focus on showing things to friends and co-workers. If I want to engage others beyond that, I’ll be more strategic about it.
- This new website, like any of my projects, is designed to be a learning experience. I’m building things from scratch to learn more about modern HTML/CSS/JS development.
Goals for this website
- Above all else, design it in a way that makes adding content. Tedium is the motivation killer. Avoid where possible.
- Build incrementally to reduce the burden. It’ll be easier to document projects if I focus on only one or two a week.
- Treat this website as a work of art of in itself. I have some ideas to make it into an art gallery.
- Embed material from my featured projects into my main website for a more immersive experience.
- Focus on the website. If I want to share things on other sites, make it easy to link back to what I
- If it’s helpful, leverage Web Components to reuse material across different projects.
- Write more on the blog. That’s a good place to talk about my experiments.
Goals for my other programming projects
- Make it easy to link to presets for projects with many parameters. Then it’s easier to share with others
- The other half of this is make it easy to save presets.
- I have some rough ideas on this topic involving JSON, URLs and possibly Local Storage
Ideas for the future
- I’m haphazard in my passion projects. However, I should be more focused when learning if nothing else. I should spend time planning out specific learning goals including reading books and articles I’ve collected over the years.