Ben Wilson, Author

23 December 2023

2023: Year in Review

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! One thing I’ve done over the past couple of years is a scheduled update. Today is the day! Of all the Christmases, this one feels quite a bit un-Christmas-y. With all that has gone on—or not gone on—I thought an out-of-cycle year-in-review is in order.

“Out of cycle?! It’s December!”

Yes, my friend, out-of-cycle. I do my annual planning in October, which is coincidentally both the beginning of the US Government Fiscal Year and my birth month. Honestly, I think they moved to that month to celebrate my birth. I’ve been told that was both highly unlikely and just a bit conceited. But I digress. I should do my end-of-year reviews in October and get the jump on everyone else. (My year starts in November. Confused yet?)

I walked into 2023 with an ambition of finishing five novels between the 2022 20 Books Vegas conference and the one last November. I finished two books of the five, but only managed 62,730 words in 2023. You will see other blog articles that explain why. I have two passions and the easier one got the better of me.

Which brings me to today. I’ve been writing code for most of the past 260 days, nearly nine months. I worked on the desktop application that fizzled (not really), then I turned to creating a website. This website, actually. I am down to punch list items as of yesterday: fix the emailing, cosmetic tweaks, and a few collection corrections. This is the first blog article officially of that website. It is marginally exciting.

Marginally? You’ve been at this for how long and you’re only marginally excited. The cosmetic defects are annoying and I want to fix them. But that could lead to a rabbit hole of “improvements.” I want to return to writing.

Was the software development worth it? That is the ten dollar question. It was. I learned Rust well enough to know I could master it if I need to. That makes it the first^H^H^H^H^Honly systems language I truly enjoy. Ruby on Rails matured greatly with version 7, making it the winner of the JavaScript framework war. That I can build a potentially complex website with only Vanilla JS is quite the thing. It is good enough that I wish I were a professional web developer again.

But I am not, and probably will not ever be again. It’s regrettist feelings, looking back.

This leads me to a phrase I picked up recently attributed to Doris Roberts: “It’s okay to look back, just don’t stare.” Sometimes, we all stare.

Ben Wilson, Author