Challenge: 100 Posts in 100 Days

Despite my best efforts, forcing myself to write every day, or even at all lately, has been very unsuccessful. I love writing, but sometimes I’m not sure what to write about or I get distracted by projects that I’m working on and just completely neglect it.

Starting today, I’m issuing a challenge to myself (and to anyone else who’d like to participate alongside me) to 100 posts in 100 days.

I’m not sure I’m going to make it.

I may not even make it past the first week.

But I’m going to give it my best shot. Somewhere between here, CSSForge and Lucid Theme, I’m planning on posting every day for the next 3+ months. Some will probably be mundane thoughts and ideas, but I’m going to try and force myself to write something of substance every day.

I’m issuing this challenge to myself for a couple of reasons.

First, writing keeps me sharp and helps me get sharper. Often when I start out writing a tutorial or post about something, I’m writing it more to teach myself the concepts than I am to teach someone else.

Second, I’d like to see just how much I can grow the traffic and community over at CSSForge. Despite my best efforts, my inability to maintain some writing discipline has often left it with stale content for months on end, which has obviously effected it’s ability to grow and build a community.

Well… here we go.

Front Porch: Embracing Performance Optimization

Well, Front Porch is over. All in all, I have to say it was a success… Big thank you to Chris Williams for all his hard work putting the conference together.

I had a couple of requests to make my slides available, so here they are: download slides. I’d love to discuss the talk with anyone interested. If you’ve got questions or anything, let me know!

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon where people aren’t able to internalize or accept their accomplishments. Regardless of evidence to the contrary, there’s always a feeling that you don’t quite belong or that you’ve fooled everyone into believing you’re smarter than you actually are. You’re an imposter. A fraud.

So let’s skip the Wikipedia definition and get to the point: I’ve struggled with imposter syndrome. A lot.

A prime example of this was the first iteration of CSSForge. I wrote so few articles because I was always afraid of writing the wrong thing, making myself seem incompetent. So it sat there collecting dust.

Then, a couple of months ago, Sara Wachter-Boettcher wrote an article titled “The Imperfectionist“. It was one of those moments where everything sort of clicked.

I wasn’t the only one who struggled with imposter syndrome.

Sara’s article was a turning point for me. That day, I decided that I was going to cut down on the number of projects that I was working on and focus on shipping and iterating. I realized that it was time for me to put my work out there and stop being so paralyzed by the thought of “what if they think I’m stupid?”

Six days later, I relaunched CSSForge with a brand new design and renewed vigor.

In the last month and a half, I have posted 16 articles on CSSForge, gotten my first speaking engagement, redesigned my portfolio, shipped a couple client projects, and have just generally felt better about the work that I’m putting out there.

And you know what? No one has called me out or shamed me for not knowing things.

I won’t go so far as to say I’m in the clear now; in fact, I’m sure that I will struggle more in the future. But for now, I’m enjoying having the monkey off my back for a bit.

I’ll be speaking at @FrontPorchIO in October

A couple of weeks ago, I got word that I’ll be speaking at my first web development conference, Front Porch in Dallas on October 8th. To say I’m excited is an understatement.

I’ll be speaking about Sass & Compass in Responsive Web Design, a topic that I have become more and more interested in over the last few months.

Like many, I was initially skeptical of CSS processors, but midway through last year I decided to suck it up and give it a shot. My decision between LESS and Sass was less than scientific; most of the folks I knew were using Sass, and really liked it, so that’s what I chose.

I’m glad I did.

Over the last year, I’ve experimented and learned a lot about just how much Sass can do. I’ve also learned just how much it can do to help with the responsive design process.

On October 8th, I’ll be droppin’ that knowledge on everyone at Front Porch.

If you’re interested in hearing what I have to say, early bird tickets are on sale through August 14th for $75. After that, tickets go up to $100.

New Portfolio Design and Other Interesting Stuff

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here, most of what I’ve been writing has been posted over at DuncanDay.com or CSSForge.com. Unfortunately, I haven’t been doing as much writing over at those sites as I would like to, either.

Back on topic, though, as you can see I’ve finally gotten around to putting a fresh coat of paint on my portfolio. I’m extremely happy with the way that it turned out, which is a pretty rare occurrence in and of itself. I plan on continuing to iterate on the design here, but I’ll be turning my focus over to Lucid Theme and CSSForge.

I’m also currently working on the beginning stages of a new web app with a friend of mine, Gabe Marshall. This is the first product that I’ve ever worked on, so naturally I’m pretty damn excited.

That’s all I’ve got for now, but I would love to hear your thoughts on the new portfolio design!