In general, I’m a minimalist who owns very little and is deliberate when bringing something into my life, be it material stuff or hobby, because I know too well that “everything you own keeps you busy” (or you could say “the things you own end up owning you”).
Still, I’ve often found my plates nearly full just with the full time work and parenting. I spend whatever little time I’m left with on my passion projects, i.e. photography, coding and two websites I manage (here and Tumblr ), but am feeling rather overwhelmed these days. So, I’ll take this opportunity to sort out items on my plates and try to simplify what I do.
RLCF: Real Life Comes First
Firstly, my full time work and parenting are non-negotiable that cannot be dropped (I wish I could drop my full time work, though!), so if anything is to be dropped, it must come from my own passion projects (sadly, RLCF: Real Life Comes First). Here is the list of what I currently do.
- Photographing cityscapes at blue hour once or twice a week
- Writing blog posts (sharing my experience shooting cityscapes at blue hour) on this website twice a month
- Writing guest posts for Digital Photography School website every two months
- Updating codes for my own WordPress theme (for my personal use)
- Writing a new eBook and updating three existing eBooks
- Managing a print on demand online store on sub domain website
- Posting a new photo on my Tumblr website once a week
- Coding Tumblr themes (for repository submission)
- Selecting photos for Imiging (photo curation website on Tumblr) almost daily
Online Print Store
I’m planning to close my print store hosted on sub domain, as creating an individual post for each photo selling is rather time-consuming. Instead, I’ll probably add print store functionality to my Top 50 Photo Gallery by using a script. It takes some time to implement the feature, but once done, it becomes pretty much autopilot and saves me a ton of time in the long run.
In 2018, I’ve been consistently writing two blog posts per month on this tiny home of mine. The number sounds low, but I’ve found it hard to keep up due to time constraints and lack of topics. Updating the blog just for updating sake even when struggling to find a topic is all too common a trap to fall into. Going forward, I’ll care less about the numbers and focus more on the quality.
I’m wondering what to do with my Tumblr, the only social networking platform that I’m active today. Tumblr is unique in a way that it comes with a fully customizable website, but I don’t see much point having two websites posting same photos. If having to pick one, no brainer to go with this self-hosted website, but leaving Tumblr isn’t on my card because I’m actively developing themes and also a part of Imiging team curating photos to be reblogged (and I enjoy being in Tumblr’s photo community).
Ideally, I should restart my Tumblr blog from a clean slate by posting different type of photos with lesser frequency. However, this course correction isn’t likely to come easy because I rarely shoot anything other than cityscapes at blue hour. To make matters worse, my perfectionism (not wanting to post any unconvincing photos) will surely get in the way, too. That said, I might really give this new direction a try in order for these two websites to co-exist.
I’m also thinking about reducing my guest post frequency to free up more time. Guest posting has been effective in bringing traffic to my website and getting visitors to sign up for my free eBooks, but it has inevitably put my own endeavour (such as a new eBook I’m writing) on the back burner.
Coding to me is like a never ending journey for perfection! I’ve literally spent hundreds of hours building this simple-looking website (simple isn’t easy), but still cannot stop tweaking. I won’t stop coding, but will try to make this website even simpler and achieve a timeless look and functionality so that less tweaking will be required in the future.
Last but not least! I can’t possibly shoot less, but will try to make it a habit to go out with my sub camera (Olympus PEN) more often to feed my Tumblr with different types of photos. In fact, there should be plenty of photo opportunities that I could casually capture with this small camera. That said, my main interest will never be strayed from cityscape photography at blue hour, though!
Hope I’ll follow through what I’ve just said and keep my life simple. At the end of the day, it’s quite silly to get overwhelmed and stressed out by doing what I love…
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