Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013

I couldn't wait to say goodbye to 2012. Don't get me wrong, its had it's moments but overall it wasn't great. I'll start with the good stuff though.

The Good

  • Bought a flat: We bought a flat in my favourite part of London and it couldn't be any better. I even have my own home office.
  • Got engaged: I popped the question to Sandra while we were travelling out on the west coast of Iceland. It was cold and wet but it couldn't spoil the most amazing moment of my life, especially with the amazing view we had.
  • Began selling WordPress themes: I started selling WordPress themes in 2013 and they've done better than I expected considering I'm selling them through my own site. I've learnt plenty about that process which I will definitely apply to my new project, mentioned later in this post.
  • Travelled and took photos: This year Sandra and I went to New York, Iceland and Portugal. We launched our photoblog, Caught in a Lens to share those moments with the world. I haven't updated it for a couple of months so I will be keeping on top of that going forward. I also want to redesign it as I created it very quickly to get something out there.

The Bad

  • Made redundant (again): This is the third time I've been made redundant in my career. While I always come out the other end in a better position than I was in before, this redundancy was by far the most frustrating. I was working for a company called Factory Media when we were bought out by a bigger company. Initially, they forced me to do work I didn't want to do, (which I wasn't employed to do) then they made the whole technology team redundant about a month after they acquired us. I thought we would benefit from more resources a bigger company can bring, as we were struggling with the amount of work we were doing but how wrong I was. They also disrespected my work as a designer and design as a whole. I had good ideas but they just didn't listen.
  • Began selling WordPress themes: Yep, this has made both the good and the bad sections. ThemeForest rejected my first two themes (I've stopped applying) because they were “too similar” to other themes they had, even though other themes they were accepting were so obviously similar to themes they already sold. I can't work with a bunch of hypocritical idiots, so I stopped them from wasting my time. I'm positive I could have been successful for them but instead, I'm writing a scathing review. Their loss. I'm not convinced WordPress theme development is really for me anyway and as mentioned before, I've learnt plenty from doing so, so it will hopefully hold me in good stead for the future. I may create another theme if I get the urge (and the time).
  • Applying for a mortgage: In total, our mortgage offer took 7 months to complete due to the slowness and incompetencies of our mortgage provider. At multiple points in the process, especially towards the end, we thought we were going to lose our dream first property. It was the most stressful thing I've ever had to go through, so much so that I haven't fully recovered from it, mentally. All I can say is, don't ever get a mortgage with Woolwich.

The Future

I have a few plans for 2013. These aren't resolutions but actual plans I have for the new year.

  • Get married: In September, Sandra and I will be getting married on a beach in Portugal. It's a wonderful location and I can't wait for the big day. Seems so far away at the moment though.
  • Lose weight: I've been trying to lose weight for about 2 years now with little success but now it's time to conquer it, especially before my wedding.
  • Write a book: I'm currently in the process of writing a book called Photography for Designers. Early stages but I'm very happy with the progress I've made so far. Hopefully it will be useful to at least a few people. I have never written a book before and haven't ever thought it would be something I could do but I like the idea of the challenge of doing something I've never done before. I also think I can help designers with the knowledge I've gained from my photography and my experience as a designer.
  • Write more: This will naturally happen with my book, especially as I haven't written a book before but I would like to write more blog posts too. I've already redesigned this site with an emphasis on blogging again so I hope to post more here, as well as my design blog, Inspect Element. On top of that, I'm using a neat little app called Day One to write a personal journal for myself.
  • Achieve something every month: I look back at my last job and my current job over the past two years and there isn't really much I can say I'm truly proud of. This is the time of year where everyone is listing their achievements over the last twelve months but I barely have anything from the last two years. A lot of that has been down to poor decision making of others, which is totally out of my control. I don't know what my level of achievements will be but I'm sure I can work that out as I go along.