Around July 1, 2011, I left my job at a high-profile consulting firm in Boston, Massachusetts to embark, for the second time, on the path of indie web professional.
The decision wasn't terribly hard. All the questions had really simple answers.
Why'd I decide to go?
I didn't care about the work I was doing. I never felt like I was doing cool or interesting work from both a development and business standpoint. When you don't care about what you're working on, you don't do your best work.
What was I going to do next?
I had a small project going with a friend. A cute little mobile-optimized, location-based tool. I wanted to put the proper amount of dev time into it to see if it really had legs. I'll refrain from telling more about it, as I'm not sure what its current status truly is.
How would I find more work?
I was getting pinged at least once a week by someone looking for someone to fill a role quickly. At least every other one of those were freelance gigs. I worked for half-a-dozen or so companies in five years as either a contractor or employee. I have a network. It's done more for me than LinkedIn, for sure.
What if things didn't pan out?
I had enough money in the bank to last me few months and there's a dearth of front-end developer and user experience talent in Boston. Finding a new role wouldn't be hard.
So what finally happened and what does this have to do with writing?
Through that wonderful network (never burn bridges, folks), I connected with Mario Ricciardelli, founder of StudentCity. We met at a Meetup geared at UX for entrepreneurs where he showed me his Balsamiq wireframes for a cool social travel concept, HipHost.
In a little less than a month of working with Mario and his team, HipHost.com is up and running, at least as a soft launch. I've made the front-end code my baby, juiced it up with Compass and SASS and helped breath some personality into the design.
I'm working on something I care about. I'm generally happier and more satisfied at the end of the day.
You still didn't mention anything about writing.
I was a huge writer throughout high school, both creative writing and journalism. The combination of writing + geekery and my general creative tendencies played a huge part in getting me to where I am today, in the (thriving) industry I'm a part of today.
But I stopped writing for a while, partly due to going through the necessary but often fun motions of growing up but also due to the lack of creative will I had at the end of a day working on stuff I didn't care about.
I'm proud of what I'm building now and I feel like I'm ready and willing to share that process with the vibrant community I'm a part of through my writing.
I guess the lesson here is do good work and the rest will come naturally.
HipHost has a long long way to go, but we're in a hot space and I have a ton of confidence in the team. A few more of these blog posts (but shorter!), and I'll also have that confidence in myself to write more and maybe contribute some cool code.
Have fun out there.