It's been a while, hasn't it?
A little over a year, I think, since I wrote anything for Steemit.
I missed writing this way. I still wrote a few things here and there on agendas and notebooks, but it's not comparable to pressing on the keyboard's keys as fast as I can, seeing words appear on the screen in front of me as I allow ideas to freely flow onto it.
I'm not even sure what to write about, to be honest. I just felt like I needed to write, so here I am. I have some free time at my disposal, now with this pandemic, so I thought I could write a few lines, maybe publish them, see what happens, since I don't feel like coding and making 3D art all the time.
Some things have changed, from what I see. The price of Steem took a dive, the website itself suffered some changes that force you to login with different passwords into different sections. I have never been that interested in all that to be honest. I just wanted to write.
Anyway, how are you? How have you been? Hope the answer is "good", or "great"!
I first thought about telling you what happened in the year that passed since I stopped writing, but to be honest, that's quite boring. Nobody really cares. Even I get bored thinking about what I did in the last 12 months.
So, I'm gonna talk about the things I learned. About some of the things I experienced. Some of the thoughts I have on different subjects. Maybe even show you some of the work I did. I'm gonna see.
First and foremost, let's talk about why I had to quit writing, and this is gonna be quick - I got a job. Last year, in April, I got a job somewhere nearby, and that job kinda consumed all of my energy and willingness to do anything else.
I hated it for a long time, and even now, after a year of being there, I don't love the place. I don't hate it anymore, but I'm not loving it either.
I was quite depressed for around two months while at the job, and one thing that helped me overcome all that was learning about Stoicism. I'm not sure exactly how I learned about that particular philosophy, but I think I saw some videos about it on YouTube or something like that, and then I started learning more about it.
I've been interested in philosophy before, but I never saw its uses in one's day to day life. Until I found myself quite lost and sad. It was then that Stoicism kinda pulled me out from the hole I dug for myself, and allowed me to see everything with different eyes.
For those who don't know what Stoicism is, it's a philosophy focused on learning how to control your emotions, how to see things for what they are. It teaches you to accept what is not changeable and to focus all your attention on the things you can actually change. There's a lot I can say about Stoicism, but this post is not about that, so I'm gonna skip all that. If you wanna know more, I strongly recommend the book "How to be a stoic", by Massimo Pigliucci.
I also learned more about people in general, since I had to work with them on a daily basis. I learned that some people can be nice and good, while others can ruin your day only with their presence. I also learned that some people are stupid beyond belief and that for a lot of them that's normal. I also learned that some people really think they are entitled to things just because. I mean, why shouldn't they get free stuff just because they are clients that are paying for a service? Isn't that how it SHOULD work? Paying for something and getting free stuff on the side?
Anyway, I also learned more about computers (obviously), and I even did a little bit of scripting here and there, using the PowerShell on Windows to automate some tasks at work. Oh, and I learned how to use a little bit of "Excel" (I'm putting it in between quotes because I actually learned how to use OpenOffice Calc, not Excel, but that's close enough).
What's more important, I managed to read a few books, and some of them were quite amazing. I finally bought and read "The Idiot" by Dostoyevsky , which, to be honest, didn't impress me as much as I thought it will. I also read Jordan Perterson's book, "12 rules for life", which I loved. I finished reading "Metro 2033" by Dmitry Glukhovsky, after finishing all the games, and fell in love with it. Now I'm trying to finish the next book from the series, "Metro 2034".
A few other titles changed the way I see work, and the way I see the human mind. For example, in the book "Deep Work", Cal Newport talks about why removing distractions and having long periods of time dedicated solely to work is incredibly useful and productive.
Another one is "Thinking fast and Slow" written by Daniel Kahneman, which I would recommend to ANYONE out there. It explains so well why we think the way we think, why we do certain things, how easily we can be influenced, and a lot more. It also takes complicated topics and makes them really easy to understand, and that's noticeable from the first few chapters, when he separates the brain and its functions into two systems, System 1, focused on fast thinking, and System 2, the lazy one, focused on slow and analytical thinking.
Great book, I cannot recommend it enough.
I'm currently reading "Antifragile" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb , a book that introduced to me a concept that I wasn't really aware of in the past, which is the ability of certain things to not only resist to difficult situations, but to actually improve themselves when faced with such situations.
It's a great, but more complicated book to read, and yet I still recommend it. The simple fact that you get exposed to that kind of mentality can help you quite a lot. I'll give you an example a little later once I talk about C#, a new programming language I've been trying to learn for a few weeks.
I could make more and more recommendations, but I'd rather skip over them right now because this article is already quite long.
Another thing I managed to do since I stopped writing is focusing a little more on my 3D work, and make things I never thought I could do.
In one of the "Weekly Updates" I wrote in the past, I was talking about a scene I was working on in Blender featuring a small part of a city, with multiple apartments, a street, and all kind of things. Well, it's finally done, after a lot of work, and you can see it here: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/nQnOR6
Two weeks after making that scene, I started working on another one, which you can see here: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/XB5DLy
The second scene actually took me only around a week to make and publish! That showed me that while the first scene was annoying as hell to make and really frustrating, it did teach me quite a lot and helped me improve the way I do things. No tutorials or articles can teach you that.
With that last sentence in mind, there's another thing I tried learning recently, and it's a programming language called C#. I tried learning web design and development in the past, right before quitting writing, then I tried once again to learn Python in the year I was gone, and now I'm here trying to learn a different language. However, something's different now.
I told you above about a book called "Antifragile", and I talked about how some things, when exposed to difficult situations, improve. It applies to human beings, and it can be an amazing strategy to learn new things and get better at what you do. The author talks extensively about why theory alone is not really the thing that matters, and how in very many situations, doing things is a lot better than just knowing and researching them.
With all that in mind, I started learning C# in a different way. I watched a 4 hours course, which can seem quite a lot for some people, but it was just what I needed to learn the basics of the language. Then, I just started coding. Since I coded in the past, I kinda knew what projects I should work on just to get used to the language, like building a simple calculator, creating a rock, paper, scissors game and, the thing I'm doing now, creating a hangman game.
What I did different is that instead of searching for tutorials that could show me how to build those things from scratch, I tried to do them on my own. And I learned A LOT, because having to search for solutions myself, all the time, and get frustrated, and then do more research, find a solution, but then searching for another one because the first one wasn't working all that well, made me understand things a lot better and get a much better understanding of the basics of C# than a tutorial could ever do.
Another similar example would be a project I worked on for an aunt. She needed a logo and a few banners for a website she wants to make (well, have, not make), and I agreed to help. I don't have a lot of experience with logos or banners, but I still agreed to make them.
What was the result? Well, I can't really show you now, hope you understand why, but long story short, I managed to make a logo and 10 banners that she really liked. Did I follow a lot of tutorials? No. I just knew how to use Illustrator from working with it in the past, and Photoshop from using it almost on a daily basis. So, I just did some research on how to use certain parts of Illustrator, and got to work. In around 2-3 weeks, everything was ready (keep in mind I also had a job while doing all this).
So, this kind of approach is working better than expected. Obviously, it doesn't work everywhere. You shouldn't start driving a car without a license, because practice is better than theory. You should learn a lot of rules you'll need to follow while driving from different books, then how to drive a car on the road with an instructor. But you can expose yourself to small doses of practice that won't expose yourself to problems or danger. In this case, you can ask a friend or a family member to take you somewhere on a field or whatever, where no one else drives a car, in order to teach you the basics, like how to move the car, how to steer the wheel, and so on. You get the point. Some things benefit from this type of actions, some don't.
I'm gonna apply this concept more and more, especially with C#, by building actual things instead of just watching tutorials and courses. I'll start by focusing on building pieces of software that could be useful to me, before working on anything that could help someone else. Some future projects include a bookmark manager, to help me manage all my bookmarks, and a notification filter for my phone, that will block all notifications from messages except the ones containing certain words/sentences.
I will also apply the same thing to drawing, something I want to learn to do while staying home, at least until I'm asked to come to work again (if that's gonna happen).
I learned quite a lot in 2019, and even these few months in 2020. But the main thing I learned, is that whenever I acquire a new information, a new trick or something, I realize how little I actually know, and how much useful and amazing information is out there, waiting to be discovered.
Anyway, that was it. It's been a year since I wrote anything, and the first article I write has 2000 words. There could be a lot more to talk about, but if I don't stop now, I'm gonna probably get to 3000 words, and that's not good for anyone.
If you managed to read everything, I hope you enjoyed the post. I'm probably not gonna start publishing on a daily (or even weekly) basis, like I did before. I have a lot of other things to do, like programming, 3D modelling, Photoshop, and so on. Plus, I may go back to my job soon (again, IF it's gonna happen). But I may publish an article once in a while. After all, writing did become quite a big part of my life, even if I wasn't aware of it before stopping.
Well, until next time, I wish you a great day, and a lot of health!