Zero Nine

This entry was published on January 2, 2010 and may be out of date.

Whew! Another year comes to an end and what a year this has been. Perhaps the most eventful, colourful and wonderful year of my life so far. There has been so many ups and downs — more downs than ups but at the end it has been a difficult but wonderful year.

This is a very personal post — not the techie type post that this site has seen before. I am blogging after such a long time and so much has happened since my last post that I feel like sharing a few bits a pieces. Not writing for anyone in particular — maybe just for myself.

Work

The past year was a year of extremes. When times were good, they were extremely good. Bad times were equally bad — I suppose to maintain equilibrium.

Started off working for an agency that provided regular work. It was a wonderful opportunity to design and develop quite a lot of corporate websites. But due to the recession, the agency was struggling to stay afloat. I suppose websites became a matter of lower priority compared to staying in business for a lot of our clients.

The troubles began when work was short and so was money, at least for me. I decided to leave the agency and work on my own. I even considered becoming a full-time blogger. Leaving a somewhat secure position and working on my own during the worst economic crisis of our generation was very scary. I started this blog around the same time of the year and hoped that a few contracts would start coming in soon.

And they did! Over the latter half of the year I have been tied to a contract with a small company. It has been a challenging but tremendously rewarding experience so far. What started off as a difficult year turned out to be a quite a good one.

Blogging

Azadcreative.com began its journey in 2009. I have given blogging a shot quite a few times before and even reached the front-page of Digg.com once, but none of them were serious attempts. But this is my definitive attempt to build an online identity. Discarding the silly alias eDevil and developing a brand around my real name is what I had in mind.

The design completed around March and I started blogging around the same time. My first couple of months as a blogger were tremendously successful. A couple of posts received great feedback from readers.

Unfortunately I have not been a regular blogger due to exhaustion from work and a few health issues. Lacking the time and energy to spend on regular writing, I discarded the site and since the initial success here has been no posts. Although, I did manage to keep it spam free and respond to a few comments, I would have liked to do a lot more.

The other issue with technical writing is that readers often point out mistakes or ask questions about implementation and bugs. As the author of the site, it becomes the responsibility to provide “support” to the readers, which I have not been able to do.

Moving onwards, this year there will be a major redesign with a brand new portfolio and lab section. This website needs to be nurtured, polished and taken care of. I made a promise to write regularly this year. Hopefully I shall once again build a loyal readership that I once used to have.

Discipline

This year the aim is to bring discipline to every aspect of my life. From waking up at a regular time and showing up at work at 9 AM sharp, eating healthy and regular excercise to mainitaining my online influence through my blog. Another area of of great focus will be networking with people that matter on twitter and facebook.

Getting things done in an organized manner and meeting deadlines, managing time better to maximise productivity are on the new year’s resolution list. I know that they are far too generic but I am working on the development of methodologies that quantify the objectives and their progress.

For instance, I have developed a sophisticated calendar and bookmarks sync system between my iMac at work, my Dell Studio which I use at home and my iPhone. This helps me keep track of projects and tasks that need attention.

This year will be a year of personal development through disciplined actions and I am excited to share this journey through this blog.

Health Issues

Throughout 2009, I suffered from chronic pain issues and constant fatigue. What appeared to be a bad case of flu that I have been sufferring from August through to December turned out to be Tuberculosis (and Pneumonia affecting both sides of my lungs) when I was hospitalised a week before Chistmas. I went through a complete physical collapse and had to stay in the hospital for two whole weeks until I was released on New Year’s Eve.

I am currently going through active treatment by the NHS which has helped me recover quite a lot. The recovery from the collapse has been a blessing in a way. I feel refreshed — no longer burned out by fatigue or coughing like an old man.

The two weeks in an isolated chamber in the hospital gave me time to think about what has been going on in my life and what I need to do go get things done in the following months/years. In a strange way I am glad I ended up in a hospital. I came out a brand new man.

The new decade, a new beginning

Looking forward to making great positive changes to myself and things that surround me. New energy and drive to achieve new heights — both in the online and offline world. With a lot to look forward to in the year 2010, I am tremendously excited.

New work opportunities, chance to gain qualifications, connect with old friends, travel the continent and a whole lot more is on the cards. With a lot of discipline, this year might just end up topping the past year as the best ever. I do believe the best is yet to come – being the glass-half-full kind of guy that I am.