2023-01-14 My plans for 2023

It is the first time I write a post about my plans for the upcoming year. This is because I keep changing my productivity habits, and the change I’ve made recently was introducing some planning. This includes doing the famous “weekly reviews”, together with quarterly and yearly ones. For now, I’m very bad at it, but I keep going in the hope of getting better. And it means that I want to plan my activities (in various areas of life) for the next several months.

Of course, the easiest one of them is my day job – no need to do much planning here, I just keep doing what I’m assigned and that’s more or less it. In other words, planning is not my job here. The tricky part is my side projects (also, of course, more personal stuff like what is going to happen with my family – but this is very personal and not subject of this blog post!).

Last year was a kind of disappointment for me, really. While 2021 was great – I finally finished not one, but two big projects, the Elisp book and another thing I still haven’t written about (but I’ll get to it eventually!) – there was no such achievements in 2022. That’s ok, it’s not a disaster, but not what I was hoping for, either. So I want to change it in 2023.

So, here is my side-project-plan for 2023. It’s going to be a writing year! First of all, I want to finish my booklet about accounting. It’s nothing big, but I think it’s pretty nice and it bothers me that I didn’t finish it (even though the core, that is the explanation of the main tenets of accounting and how the fundamental types of accounts work, is done). So, this is one thing I plan to finish, preferably even in January.

Another thing I’m going to spend considerable time on is polishing and expanding the Elisp book. I have some ideas here (including places I really want to improve), and I’d love to put them out this year. It’s going to take some time – this is not going to be my top priority – but something I want to spend some regular time every week, so that it gets done this year (although I don’t know when exactly – probably the second half of it).

There is also a secret (well, semi-secret, since I did allude to it several times) project I started in late 2020. It is a really big one (and still ongoing!) – I’ve already spent more than 340 hours on it, with at least another 150 or so ahead of me (though after 2+ years of pretty intensive work for a side project this long I decided to slow down considerably). This will be blog-worthy, and it’s different enough from what I write about here that it’s possible I’ll start a brand new blog about it somewhere in 2023.

And finally the most exciting of my non-secret plans for 2023 is this: two new books! I’ve been thinking about a certain experiment, and I finally decided that the time for it is very soon now. In January, I’m going to start learning something new in order to write a textbook about it! Much like the book on Elisp, it is going to be a book about using a computer and some programming skills to make your life easier. Since the only software other than Emacs I spend considerable time using is (obviously) a web browser, I’m going to learn to write browser extensions and share my newly found knowledge in a book.

This – as I said – is one big experiment. It may turn out that the existing resources are good enough that there is no need for a book by a humble mathematician turned programmer. But another part of the experiment is that I’m going to learn in public. The plan is to document my learning process in a booklet – a kind of programmer’s diary about what it’s like to learn something new.

Is it going to be interesting? I don’t know. Is it going to be long? I don’t know. Is it going to be fun to read? I hope so. Is it going to be worth anything to anyone? I really don’t know. Is it going to be even finished? Well… yes.

I plan to start learning in January and commit to document the process of going through the (substantial part or all of) the resources I decide to use. Honestly, I consider it also a way for people who find my writing worth anything (and come on, I know you’re out there, even if it’s only two of you;-)!) to support me financially, by buying the booklet I’m going to write this way.

And when I’m done (probably in late spring or early summer), I will decide if it makes sense to convert my newly found knowledge into a regular textbook. And I’m really excited by this. I consider many, many websites and web apps to have inferior UI and capabilities, and I hope to learn that browser extensions can help with that. It’s exactly the same idea with Emacs: you learn Elisp to mold Emacs into something more useful to you, only now it’s about JavaScript and a web browser.

So, that’s about it as far as my (public) plans for 2023 go. There are also backup plans. I have three other book ideas (on various levels of vagueness, but one of them is pretty concrete). I also plan to do some little programming side projects. But the core is what I told above.

Does that sound interesting? Does it make sense? Do you have any ideas about how to improve my plans for 2023? Or do you find them completely ridiculous and a waste of time? Let me know, and thanks for reading this far!

CategoryEnglish, CategoryBlog, CategoryEmacs