The Resolution will not be televised

Well, 27 days (that’s about 7%) into 2009 and thought it would be time to knock out some New Years Resolutions. Not so much things I am going to do but some things I would like to or aspire to do over the next 12 eleven-and-a-bit months.

So, here goes:

Blog More

The road is paved with good intentions. Unfortunately, Edinburgh council has recently dug a massive hole in the road as part of their ongoing effort to make Auld Reekie innavigable to all but hoverboards.

I’ve got a lot to say – some of which might be of some interest to the passing observer (much not) – and at the moment I’ve got a quite frankly shocking 12 draft articles that i started writing but never got round to finishing. Procrastination and perfectionism are not happy bed fellows!
Most of these will be deleted but I will endeavour in 2009 to find more time to post things up on this here blog for your delectation.

Redesign aforementioned blog

When I designed this site last year I was quite happy with it but for me it has past its efficacy. The blocks of colour and type treatment have proved quite rigid and inflexible and – to me at least – boring. I want to use this blog as an opporunity to piss about experiment with new techniques and skills so I think it is about time that it got a visual refresh.

Be a most excellent and attentive dad

In 2 or so weeks time I will be twice the dad I have hitherto been with a new bairn due to arrive into our lives. We completely struck gold with wee Gethin so am dreading the potential nightmare of bairn 2.0. Either way, with two kids on the go am going to have to do my best to be there for Gethin, Peta and the new arrival. When Gethin first arrived I kinda freaked out in a typically blokish manner – throwing myself into the cave and denying my new role and responsibility as a parent. So I am vowing to do my best to avoid a similar reaction this time round and be there in body, mind and spirit!

Smoke less

I love smoking me – as Jo Brand recently exclaimed on the excellent QI

The only advert I’d agree to do is one for fags:
“They’re bloody lovely and you might not get cancer”

Yes I know it’s bad for me and no, it doesn’t make me look cool and yes, it costs money but I do sincerely enjoy chuffing on a roll up or two. But I definitely smoke too much and realise that I should cut down a wee bit. So during 2009 I will try to bring my consumption down and see smoking as a light relief rather than the coping mechanism/involuntary response that it has recently become.

Start writing PhD up into book

For ten years or so I invested most of my waking moments (and probably far too many of my sleeping ones) in the study of the Neolithic of Scotland. The culmination of this was my doctoral thesis – a mighty tome of some 120,000 words that currently sits – probably unread – on a library shelf somewhere in Aberystwyth. I am proud of some of the stuff in there and would like to make it available and more accessible, particularly to those outwith the archaeology fraternity.
So, now I have officially moved on from archaeology perhaps now is the time to take what I have learnt in the past few years as a web designer to create a visually and intellectually engaging account of the Neolithic of the Western Isles of Scotland.

Screenprint more

In the run up to the end of 2008 I got quite into screen printing, making Christmas presents and cards for friends and family. I have always loved art and being creative and in recent years this has manifest in digital media but it was great to get hands dirty and produce tangible art (if you can call it that) so will defo try to continue the momentum of last year to experiment more with this medium and be more creative.

Unfinished projects 1

Most of my spare time thus far in 2009 has been spent renovating our kitchen. This past weekend saw the wall cabinets going up so we are pretty much there already with the exception of some tiling but don’t want this particular project to lie unfinished for the remainder of 2009. One of my goals therefore will be to finish what I started and preferably before the new bairn arrives

Socialise more

I just don’t get out as much as I used to. Parenthood, rural location, finances and commuting are all excuses reasons for failing to go out with friends and colleagues more often than I perhaps otherwise should so will try in 2009 to go out and socialise more in Edinburgh and its environs, especially with the burgeoning web scene Scotland is now enjoying.

Value work more

The old adage goes that if you charge peanuts you get monkeys. In addition to full-time web work, for the past 2 years I have been doing freelance web design work under the moniker of TINY v. My rates for freelance work have always been particularly low, reflecting the fact that this is a secondary income and I can’t work as quickly as I might if I could devote all my time to freelance projects. It is probably a gross generalisation but from the past couple of years experience the more you value your work (in terms of the rates you charge) the more worth your client will percieve in your services and the greater value you will see in doing that work.

Working freelance in addition to the 9-5 means late nights and sometimes low motivation – nothing is going to kill that motivation more than knowing you are not getting paid what you think you deserve for doing it. I may lose out on some clients but will definitely try to charge more for the freelance web work that I do in 2009.

Unfinished projects 2

The curse of the web designer – teaching yourself new skills by having a half-arsed brainwave, envisage building it into a web app, buying up a domain and then doing piss all with it. In 2008 I had two such brainwaves which went on to stagnate – dumago and tinyadr. The upcoming Barcamp in Edinburgh is the perfect opportunity to throw myself back into at least one of these so will do my utmost to get something relatively polish in time for 14th March (amidst the minor distraction of our new arrival).

So, what are your resolutions? What do you hope to achieve in 2009?

Comments

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excellent resolutions, particularly being realistic and achievable things. I however, have a list the length of my arm. One of them is for D and I to get out more too, so sure we’ll be able to help with that one :)

Good luck with these fella, that’s a mighty list.

My resolution is to be clean shaven more. I figured it was pretty simple and achievable – I was wrong.