It’s that time of the year when one reflects on how the year went by. It’s been a few days since the Christmas of 2018, I wanted to take some time to document how the year passed. Kind of a review if you will. I have never done anything like this before, it’s going to interesting to see how it shapes up. So let’s get started.

Freelancing

It’s possibly the best year of Freelancing for me so far. I have completed 9 projects for 6 different clients. Some more are in the pipeline, will update when something interesting comes up. I tried something new with a client this year, this may not be new for freelancers using portals such as upwork and others. I worked with a client, from the start to project completion just using Telegram Messenger. Like I said it may not be breaking news for you but it’s very different from how I usually work. It was a very different experience for me since it takes quite a bit of talking to get a client to agree on crucial things. It was not the case with this “Telegram Client”, we went along much smoother than I expected. I hope to get more such clients.

Side Projects

As a Freelance Web Developer, I may not have work every day of the week. Trust me you really need this time to keep things sane, it’s all not waste if you put it to good use. In the time I had between projects, I worked on a few personal projects, learned new tools. I am really proud of how two of these side projects (LaravelCollections.com & My Portfolio site) shaped up.

Rebuilding my blog has been one of the best things I have done to enhance my profile. Previous to the rebuild, my portfolio was a single page with all the information clumped together in the same page. Then I read Ali Spittel’s blog post, then decided to rebuild it. After the rebuild, I have had more inquiries via the website, and most important of all I added the blog. You will find more about my blogging further down the article.

Blogging

Blogging more was one of those things that’s on your list for a while but you never find the time to actually do it. This year I wanted to change this and dedicate an hour or two every week to write something, anything really. The only criteria was that the piece has to be at least 600 words, nothing special about the number, but having a minimum mark really forces me to express things in much more detail.

I found the first few weeks very difficult to complete the task. But after a few weeks when writing became part of my weekly routine, it was much less difficult. Few weeks after that, 600 words mark was not that big of a deal to cross. I publish very few of what I actually write, on my blog, this is because I am a very private person, I hold my opinions close to my chest, I am also working on this.

I have a few tips if you are just getting started writing.

  • Write for yourself, think if you would be interested in reading what you have written
  • Find a dedicated time
  • Set challenging yet practical goals
  • Once you start to write, you will find it easier to find new things to write about
  • I find it best to write in the morning

Social Media activity

Like I mentioned above, I am a very private person, I hate sharing my thoughts and opinion with others, let alone the wild west that is the social media. I have never been very active on any social media. But like blogging, more social media activity was on my list for 2018. And I have been sticking to it mostly. I tweet more and since I write more I share some of those stories on these platforms too.

The greatest benefit I see for using them is, I now get frequent freelance work quires from there. Even recently I had a call from a startup who saw my LinkedIn profile and offered me a contract to work on their product. I don’t regret not doing this early on, but also a part of me deeply misses the social media silence.

Personal Stuff

I try to fill up my free time with everything I enjoy doing, like music, movies, books. I have read 9 books so far, I finally have gotten around to reading Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari and it is probably the best book I read this year.

I would like to think that I have a distinct taste for music. I love Indian Classical, and this year has been no different. I have been collecting Indian Classical Music for the last 5+ years. I rarely ever listen to music with words, I love music for the music not the vocal part.

Don’t even get me started on the movies, I am movie buff, big time. I track my movie watching HABIT on letterboxd. So far this year I have watched 208 films, count in a few more by the time this year comes to an end. I binge up to 5 movies at the weekend. You can say I am utilizing my Netflix account to the extreme. It’s not all Netflix by the way, I own an exhaustive number of film DVDs, and the rest are at the theaters.

Conclusion

2018 has been a very good year by any measure for me. I have a few things I want to improve in the coming years. I want to work more on my side project LaravelCollections.com, grow a dedicated following for the site, maybe even think about possible ways to make money off the site, but this is not a priority.

Hoping for the best in 2019. Have a great holiday.
Thank you.