I was keenly aware throughout 2023 that time seemed to have sped up with each passing week evaporating away as quickly as morning mist in sunrise. It's been another year of loud firsts and silent lasts, our youngest started school as our eldest stopped sucking their thumb; both are growing so fast that I find myself grasping at the memories of them as babies.
In keeping with programmer tradition I started a number of side projects, some of these, most notably the 11ty plugins that I wrote made it across the finish line, with some finding use by other people. I was going to convert the code for my /stats page into a plugin however John Wargo beat me to it with their excellent Eleventy post stats plugin which I might actually make use of soon.
On the theme of other people beating me to the punch line, after completing my Eleventy.js Blogtimes Plugin I did begin looking into crafting a plugin for creating Github-style post distribution graphs but I put it on the back burner for another day. Well that day never came and Robb Knight beat me to it with his Eleventy Post Graph Plugin! I'm very grateful to Robb for putting in the work on this plugin as it's something I have wanted for a while. It also warms my heart that there are others out there who find such things interesting as well.
I published 74 posts in 2023 and with the aid of Robb's plugin we can see that aside from the regular week in review posts, I published during creative spurts throughout the year. You can also see at time of publishing this that I have still yet to back-fill my unpublished weeks in review, they are written but My publishing workflow for them is time-consuming and cumbersome, something to sort this year!
On the subject of publishing workflow, after Cassidy tried out TinaCMS in October of 2023 I gave TinaCMS a go. Unfortunately it didn't work out for me, I found that the interface for Tina to be a bit noisy but ultimately it was the lack of footnote support that became the deal-breaker. This lead me down the Rabbit Hole of writing a file based CMS, something I invested a good 30-40 hours on over a couple of weeks; I shelved that when Cassidy shared the Obsidian Markdown Export plugin by @bingryan, this allows me to continue using Obsidian for writing and simplifies the steps required to get content published.
I worked on a number of large personal projects in 2023, this began in May with introducing my Space Mines browser game; I have worked on this idea on-and-off for enough years that I should have finished it by now but alas I became distracted and back upon the shelf it went.
One of those distractions was The TKI Revival, during my research for Space Mines I stumbled upon this old browser game (among many others) and quite liked its game play. I ended up taking the source code and attempted to refactor it into a new Laravel project, I got quite far in this endeavour, managing to refactor all the legacy code, however I got bogged down in making decisions on how the interface should work and learning how to do so with Inertia.js.
In the end I had a short break and found another distraction in Writing a Text Adventure in Go! This distraction came off the back of playing the text mode RPG Swords of Freeport by Elissa Harris. I spent the majority of my spare time between August and December working on this, it started as a short tutorial series for PhotoGabble but quickly grew into a 50-chapter book.
So, what does 2024 bring? For one thing I would like to complete writing a text adventure in go and my TKI revival however in order to do either I need to first sit down and plan out how each project is going to grow. This will likely involve some kind of gantt chart and a realistic look at what I can actually achieve in a year!
Aside from the big projects I also want to continue and complete the 365-day project that I revived in August last year; this project was an excuse to write and only faltered when I went on holiday and was unable to publish the posts I had written on my phone.
I don't remember who, but I recently read someone's blog post where they wanted to gamify their writing through adding achievements to their blog. I quite like the idea of giving myself some milestone challenges and a virtual trophy case to keep them in. The 365-day project lends itself nicely to gamification, I'll think up some more and add a page to track them.
You can read Cassidy's thoughts in her post Publishing to my blog from Obsidian ↩︎