(I have a ton of gifts to wrap, so this is what I’m going to do instead.)
We’re almost to the end of another year, and this one has been a ride. Lots of ups and downs, in both the literal and figurative senses, which seems appropriate. After all, I went into 2022 thinking it was the last full year I’d live, so why not go out with a bang?
Twelve months later…I’m not sure of anything anymore. In some ways, the few good things that have happened in my life have made it worse. Stasis is death, and I was dying. Now I’m living, but it’s hard to start that when you’ve waited until you’re almost 40. Part of me wants to get things done. Another part wants me to turn my back on all of it. I want to give of myself, yet I also want time for myself. It’s a battle most people deal with years, if not decades, before where I am now, but age doesn’t always bring wisdom.
Still, I set goals for myself, and I think it’s a good time to look at how I’ve fared with them. Then, I’m going to set a few more for 2023.
The Great Works
I put forth my four Great Works at the beginning of the year, and I would say that I accomplished most of them.
First, Alana, the site I’m building for my “real” job, is coming along. It’s hit a few roadblocks here and there, and my dev team (such as it is) is perpetually understaffed for the tasks we’ve been given. Despite that, it’s a real site, and it has real users. If there’s any one problem I can see, it’s that the roadmap has far too many items on it, and there’s very little rhyme or reason to them. The perils of having a boss with ADHD.
Second, I spent a lot of time early in the year working on Technetism. In the past few months, I’ve backed off a little bit. That’s because I feel that the philosophy is sketched out now, and it just needs some literature and a few adherents. We’ll get to it, but I can truly say that I have created a school of thought that reflects my view of the world. The rest is just filling in the gaps.
Third, I ran for office. Okay, I didn’t have much of a campaign, and my opponent even claimed I had dropped out of the race the week before the election, but my name was on the ballot. People talked to me, talked about me. My name was on the tickers at the bottom of all three local networks. Best of all, my mere presence forced my opponent to campaign, something she hasn’t had to do in a decade. I came away with 28% of the vote just by offering a choice. If I can do it, there’s hope for everyone.
Last of all, I have to admit that I mostly gave up on Iconic. It has notes and a rough outline of where I want to go, but I just couldn’t put in the effort. I still believe that visual communication is a noble goal, that METI should be pursued, and that there is someone out there waiting for our call. If I have time in 2023, I may even pick up the project again. For now, this has to stand as the one true failure of the Great Works, but it was always the long shot.
Of the few goals I have in mind for next year, only a couple are really relevant to PPC.
Foremost among these is The Prison of Ignorance. I need to go back and edit the book, adding what I’ve learned about technetism through its development. I’ll also have to slap on a preface, an afterword, and all that. Other than those trivial minutiae, my first nonfiction philosophical tract isn’t too far away from completion. So let’s get it done.
Getting into philosophy and politics has also rekindled my interest in history and the things that make our Western civilization the greatest that has ever existed. To that end, I plan to read at least 12 of the so-called Great Books. This is a list of over 300 of the most influential works humanity has ever produced, and I regret to say that I’ve only truly read a small fraction of those. I plan to fix that.
I haven’t done much writing at all this year, so I also want to rectify that situation in 2023. I’d like to get On the Stellar Sea finished in draft form, as well as Pitch Shift. (That will be the first book I’ve ever written where I’ve actually visited the setting! Can you believe that?) Releasing Homeward From Afar is on my to-do list, as well as putting as many of my books as possible on a store besides Amazon.
On the development front, I’ve recently had an itch that I can only scratch by going back to Pixeme. This was a project I started a few years ago, and even built out quite a bit, but never released. The gist is that it’s a site to help people learn languages by using pictures. I’ve refined the concept, my job has given me more experience working on bigger apps, and now I want to see if I can build something.
And that’s pretty much it. Sure, those aren’t the life-changing goals I’d attempted this year, but my life has changed enough as it is. For the time being, I’d like some stability. Evolution, not revolution. Above all, that’s what I ask of 2023.