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Pleasure and Pain turns 2

I started this blog two years ago on January 10, 2008 with a post titled, Genesis. I didn’t know at the time just how fitting a word it was. It truly marked the beginning of my re-creation.

Since then I’ve published 447 posts (including this one), received 1,491 comments, and had 159,031 unique visitors.

The stats alone take my breath away, but what it has all meant to me is even more astonishing. I never could have expected what a fulfilling outlet this would be for me, to share both my professional accomplishments and personal challenges, my insights and inspirations.

If 2008 was the Genesis, then 2009 was certainly the Exodus. After quitting my full-time job the prior August, I was faced with a journey through the wilderness of independent life. I have followed many role models, and described the process in detail here. I even managed to gain some followers of my own, people inspired by my stories to take their own leaps into self-employment.

When I started writing two years ago, I never imagined what effect this blog might have on others, and I’m deeply moved every time I receive an email or comment from a reader who has found something meaningful here. It’s what drives me forward on the most difficult of days, and what has given me the confidence to keep striving for what is just slightly out of reach.

Perhaps I am entering into the year of Leviticus — the establishment of rituals and the greater understanding of consequence. In the last year I have greatly overextended myself, and in many ways let myself and others down by not being able to fulfill on commitments, but not being able to adhere to a routine, and by not clearly articulating my limits. I suspect that this will be the year in which I develop a more mature approach to running my business and choosing my commitments wisely. I am hopeful that many wonderful opportunities will continue to come my way, and that I will have the prudence to make good decisions about what to pursue (instead of my previous tendency to just take on everything).

There is one thing that I will be sure to make an even deeper commitment to: sharing myself on this blog, and finding ways to more profoundly connect with you (whomever you are).

So let’s start today. Tell me who you are, how you got here, and what you were hoping to find. I’ll keep coming back to put my soul on the page as long as you do the same.

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  • paulF

    “So let's start today.”…

    Let's!

    I raised myself up on an alternative e-menu diet of the Krug/Zeldman/Nielsen's as though they were the banned rock'n'roll vinyl records of the 40's and 50's in the computer world I was university'ing and corporate internship'ing in. (Dare to think, dare to design, dare to… be you and care about the person on the other side?! :headscratch: gasp – no.. can't be!) I Learned that css, a beautiful day, and the person clicking on those web pages (or using x-technology) have so much more to do with each other that CS/”programming”/techworld doesn't teach.

    From those early days to now life (and technology) have changed in unbelievable ways and I'm someone that is learning more and more to appreciate the fact that the clock on the desktop corner isn't the same as the clock inside your chest that beats two times per moment, and I appreciate learning about experiences of the usability-guru's out there – not just their tutorials/seminars/top-10-list-for-_____'s/retweets (gulp).

    My dream? I'd love to be an (unpaid/peanut-$) intern for 1 year and work a few weeks at a time for all of the santamaria's, malarkey's, veens, garrett's, allsopp's, hess's, halvorson's, zeldman's or godins out there and learn firsthand from a corner in their office or a closet down the hall with a lightbulb in it – but hey – that doesn't exist unfortunately… … yet… :)

    So, I guess that's it for now? Thank you for sharing, and not just teaching others out there (like me!) – you reach more than you think. There are many (like me!) that appreciate it, look forward to it, and hope to be given a chance of our own to grow, learn, expand, and share in this growing/changing world.

    keep up the good work

  • dennisplucinik

    Hi Whitney,

    I work in Manhattan for a company doing UI development. I'm coming off of a consistent routine of moonlighting and looking to create something for myself (finally) as well as really master the languages of my trade (JavaScript, CSS, PHP, etc.) Eventually I'd love to work for myself, as I think we all do.

    One of my resolutions this year was to elaborate on the goal-setting plan I used last year. This includes blogging on a regular basis and interacting with the community, hence… this comment :)

    This is the first post I've read of yours and I found you through the HappyCog site. I'm looking forward to seeing how well you hold up to your goal of posting regularly :) in the meantime, I'll give a look through some of your old posts.

  • menashe

    well
    I'm a welder apprentice and a student.

    I found this blog trough someone twitter's list and i hope to learn whatever i can.

  • http://twitter.com/francisrupert Francis C. Rupert

    I'm an indie UXer in KC area since March '09. Can't recall how I got to your site, I just know it was before you went indie. It's been a regular fixture in my feed reader — and not once one I haphazardly clicked 'Mark all as read.' At that time I was just another innie interaction designer going on my 9th year at one of the large wireless providers. While there were many variables that played into going indie, following you through Twitter, hearing your experiences, and your Evangelizing Yourself series did play the biggest role in *gaining* the confidence and guts to do so. Thank you for that! While I like to think I can continue maintaining this momentum I have to admit I would seriously consider full-time employment with the right organization and would come in armed with a wholly different perspective.

  • http://twitter.com/jbrack Jesse Brack

    I've only recently discovered your blog but I have already grown a great appreciation for it. It has the perfect balance of professional and personal advice that I can connect with.

    I'm a web designer that is consistently trying to improve the UX in my projects. My search for good UX advice led me to this blog and I've already grown a great appreciation for it.

    Not only did I find great a great resource for UX advice, but I was pleasantly surprised by the personal side of your blog. I didn't expect to relate so much with your entires about life in general, and I'm glad you shared them. I first came to your blog looking for some UX tips but found insight into greater, more important ideas.

    Thank you for the great blog and I look forward to more of the same.