6 Month Plan

I unintentionally took a 3 month break from writing. The first couple of months was due to getting a Nintendo Swtich and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It’s a tremendously fun game and well worth the 80+ hours sunk into it. It was extremely addicting and I would spend almost all my down time playing it. I also had something come up in my personal life that caught me off guard. I’m still trying to process everything but it was a major kick in the butt. I had to take some time to read, think, and re-examine my life.

One of things that came out of it was re-evaluating my current job and career path. This was sparked by reading How to Pick a Career on Wait But Why and the career guide from 80,000 hours. It also led me to go back and read my essay on dream jobs from about 2 years ago. First, I noticed that I was trying really hard to be witty in that essay. Some of the lines made me laugh, while others just made me cringe. But on a more serious note, I noticed that even then I knew I didn’t want to be an engineer for life. Although it was an unrealistic dream to be a stay-at-home dad, I still crave certain aspects of that lifestyle.

I want a job that doesn’t require me to sit in an office for 9 hours every day. I want the flexibility to set my own hours and decide what to work on. I also want the freedom to be mobile and be able to work from any location in the world. I still hold dreams of staying in foreign countries for months at a time to soak in the local culture and food. This is inspired by the 4 Hour Work Week and the concept of mini-retirements. But then again, I want a job that is practical. I don’t want to stress about not being able to pay the mortgage or having enough food. But mostly, I want a career that I find fulfilling and would get me lost in flow. I don’t want to have regrets later in life about not taking a risk and staying in a job because it was comfortable.

So with the help of the guides and a week of reflection, I decided the best way to transition into another career is to try it as a side hustle. I thought of two possible careers that would let me do all the things that I listed above: a writer and a web developer. I decided to try out web development first and if it fails, I’ll fall back on writing. The reasoning is that I believe I’ll be writing for life. Even if its not on a blog or published anywhere, I’ll probably still journal or scribble short stories in a notebook. But I’m not sure how long I will be interested in programming, so I wanted to strike while my enthusiasm for change is still high.

For the next 6 months, I’m going to commit to learning JavaScript. At the end of the 6 months, I’m going to produce a copy of my website from scratch. It’s going to mimic a lot of things that WordPress does but coded by me. I’m going to be following a 5 month programming guide from Hackernoon that outlines a plan for learning how to code. So by the end of November, I should have a revamped copy of NineOverFour ready to go. If the site is not up and functional by then, I’ll donate $50 to the NRA as punishment.

I’m still going to be writing in the meantime. I’ll try to get out weekly updates in a timely manner and have some ideas for longer pieces. It honestly feels good to be behind the keyboard and see words go up on the screen. I don’t have the usual recommendations of what I’ve read or heard this week, but there are links scattered throughout this update. The career guides are long reads but I found them to be very insightful.

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