2012 Year of the writer

For some reason it is traditional at the end of each year to reflect, self-criticise and create a personal development plan for the coming year. The colloquial term - I believe -  is new year resolutions. I've resisted doing this all of my life, knowing myself far too well to believe that I would ever stick to any half arsed commitments  - with me it has to be something that I truly want to achieve.

I do something slightly different - each year for the past 3 or 4 years I've written a list of goals. At first glance they may appear to be just another set of resolutions but I have a few rules.

A goal needs to be positive and free of any negative connotations, thinks like "I must not" or "I will not" don't work for me.  I also try and avoid any binary goals that could be failed by a single action - I will exercise every day can be broken by a day of abstinence I will exercise regularly cannot.

For me my goals for the year should all be achievable, gradual, measurable and inspirational - by gradual I mean a goal that I can work on measuring success along the way and take small amounts of satisfaction from my progress therefore keeping me inspired.

So why am I telling you about this?

My 1st goal for 2012: To write and Present more.

In 2011 one of my goals was to conquer a long term fear of public speaking. The idea of standing up in front of a crowd of people terrified me. The only way I knew to overcome  this was to put myself into the situation that scared me and confront it head on.

Last year I spoke at CodeGarden 11 about multi-language websites in Umbraco and at the Umbraco UK festival about building commercial Umbraco packages and the Umbraco deli.

The result? I'm still alive. Although I could never describe the experiences as being fun and comfortable I've re-assured myself that I'm capable. Teaching the Umbraco Level 2 course prepared me by getting me used to presenting to small groups of people. Some of my worries about public speaking were even addressed in the classes, forgetting what I was going to say, hecklers etc.

In 2012 I'd like to get better at speaking in public, to be more confident about it and maybe even to enjoy myself a little. The second part of the goal is to write more.

When I was a kid I wanted to be a writer, all early school and college reports stated journalist as my intended career. Then something went wrong, my inner geek was somehow exposed and I ended up programming computers. When I sat down to write out my goals for this year I couldn't figure out how, when or why that happened but I do remember that I loved to write.

I think that over the years my ability to write has been blunted after churning out many hundred inane technical "specification" documents. The goal for 2012 is to get back to loving to write, to strike a balance between sound technical documentation and creative and informative articles.

So that is why you are reading this. I'm not going to do anything silly like commit to blogging once a week - rewind to my explanation offailure in a single actionearlier in this post. I'll wrap up here and go and find some subject matter for these upcoming blog posts.

2012: To write and Present more.

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