I waffled on about myself too much again. Usually people aren’t interested but my comments were being upvoted on HN for some reason. Might as well keep my own copy too.

Just a heads up I do realise it looks like a massive pity party. The reality is I just really fucking love talking about myself. The pity party is just because I’m pitiful hahaha.

The cause of me talking about myself a lot again this time is this article from MrSteinberg, How to find out what you want to do creatively. I enjoyed the read but had a criticism, which started me off on my favorite subject.

Is there a conclusion missing? So what did he end up doing?

I can’t imagine unfocusing the beam to actually be productive. I was doing that for 15 years, it turned out to be ADHD.

Edit: ohhh he’s already sold a company before this. Yeah I don’t have fucking around money, I’ve still got 20 grand of debt to clear before I can even consider having fun creatively. I’m not the target market for this post haha.

I have a tub I chuck my idea cards into so that I stop thinking about them and get back to work. I used to call it the laterbase but later still isn’t any closer after a decade. It’s more of a hopes and dreams graveyard if anything lmao

Apparently Bob Dylan used a similar trick to write music.

Nice! I adapted my card system from David Lynch I think - he said 70 scenes/cards and you’ve got a feature length film, something I was deluding myself into thinking I could do at the time.

Tried that for a bit but the films and TV drafts I curled out were never going to be good enough to be worth thinking about. I was just sinking time into them for no viable reward.

That Masterclass service. Very entertaining if you’re into the subjects but ultimately another thing I wasted money on trying to find happiness.

It turns out happiness is literally just dopamine. You can get it anywhere. It’s the assembly level language of life. Everything else is an abstraction on top of dopamine.

I do wish I could have seen the one I codenamed “Dreadnought”. The quick gist humanity has space travel but it is funded by filming the ships as reality TV. Naturally this meant for ratings the upper management would send ships into dangerous situations for the content rather than real need. Such a dumb idea but it was the most fleshed out haha. Dreadnought being the ship/show we follow as the audience.

Recycled all the film/TV/story/music/fun cards and got back to work. I don’t usually nuke idea categories like that but I can barely feed myself lmao, in what universe am I writing a film or TV show? Timewaster. Pop back down to reality dumbass, give that a go next lifetime.

Kept the system for tech projects though :)

Any time I am doing the idea generation part of a project I’ll go through the existing ideas and shake out any new combos first. The system works for sure.

I have a big ol’ google doc idea pad i toss ideas to whenever i get one. At least once this helped me to get an idea quick when an opportunity arose that required one quickly!

I used to do it as a doc but switched to cards because physical is more real and you can literally shuffle them into a new order. Shuffle then go through the deck again for bonus ideas!

Also I love writing with a Sharpie. Tickles the brain just right lol

[Author of the post] For what it is worth, creative pursuits are awful at making money but what makes life worth living. I was in much more debt than you are now about a year before I wrote this post.

Mate I’ve been in debt my entire working life. 16 years and counting. I have once in my life had a bank balance above £0 and I had to break a hip to do that. I’m saving the other one for retirement lmao

I’m literally just working to pay the banks back at this point. Every now and then some big expense comes up and resets the counter. If I had no debts I could work less than 30 hours a month and have the same life.

It turned out to be ADHD but as a recent discovery I’ve not quite worked around my defective-ass brain yet. I have since got my freelance rate up to £30/h from a full time income of like.. £12/h but it’s never going to be enough to move the needle haha

Sorry to dump, just a little stuck tbh. I’d kill for just the one year lol

What are you freelancing as? If as a programmer in England your rates are still very low. When I was last freelancing for an English company my rates were more than double what you wrote and I know for certain my rates were not particularly high. I’m mentioning this only in case you’re not aware that there’s still lots of space between the top of your head and the ceiling & you can probably further increase your rate without decreasing the availability of work.

I do whatever is needed tbh. Primarily sysadmin and PHP/WordPress dev right now but I’ll jump on calls, tech sales, documentation, set up and OOH a monitoring system, assist with billing guff.. data entry if there’s nothing else to do. What do you need doing is a better question. If I can do it remote I’ll figure it out on the fly. Worst case you show me how and I’ll repeat your steps until it clicks and then I’ll optimise the process.

The one positive of ADHD so far is being able to quickly pick up a new skill. I love working for small agencies as they’ve got the most empty hats and the most fires that need fighting, loads of dopamine (the only resource worth chasing) in quick learning. It’s also how I know unfocusing the beam gets you nowhere.

Back when GDPR became a thing I printed the law off on a Friday and was advising law firms on how their site needed to change to be compliant the Monday. Have yet to be sued so I’m still pretty confident I got it right :)

Not to brag (seriously, I have nothing worth bragging about) but everyone I’ve worked with eventually calls me a genius. Genius lmao, bro I’m just bored. I can’t accept that when I’m in debt anyway, geniuses can pass leetcode and get paid at the FAANGs. I’m also aware that people say things like that so you stick around longer.

Besides which, learning quickly is just understanding the 4 stages of competence and skipping the first one. It’s not magic, just know you’re shit until proven otherwise.

I already know the patio11 advice [your rates are too low, increase your rates]. I’m earning double my most well paid friend as it is as far as I know. 30/h is already lottery win level of pay in my circles. I don’t have wiggle room for “probably” yet. I only started freelance in sept and that’s because a fixed salary wasn’t breaking even anymore. Needed to be able to do more effort = more cash. If that “probably” turns into a cheapass that doesn’t pay then I’m eating potatoes for a month.

I’m already minmaxing everything to the point of reminding the bank that their calls are costing me 50p a minute when they get distracted. I don’t want to be a jerk but they’re wanting me to rattle off my budget each month for no reason. I wish they’d give me forms to fill in, doing things over the phone is so excruciatingly slow. They (every one of them) call you asking if they can help every month if you’re in persistent debt too.. is it not obvious to banks that they’re not actually able to help? I talk to some of them more often than family! I know they’re just covering themselves legally in reality, I’m familiar with the illusion of help haha.

To be honest I’ve played myself anyway really. Turns out if you work fast you get paid less freelancing lmao. Barely worth bothering with most tasks..

In any case I’m only doing freelance until I can launch my own business. Working for someone else is for chumps like me.

I know whenever I rattle on about myself people either don’t believe me or confirm that I ain’t shit, I already know the latter and I can prove every claim otherwise. I can barely keep up with the truth so I try not to lie.

Also, I don’t have fucking around money either. I work a full time job, but I still try to create a few things for myself on the side. I realize not everyone has the time, because life or family or whatever, but people make time for what they want to prioritize.

If you’re in a full time job doesn’t that mean your side things aren’t working either? That’s basically what I mean by no fucking around money, your best time has to be spent elsewhere.

I don’t want to make little one-off tools, I already do that lol, these idea cards are businesses. With target markets and revenue streams and everything. Once I’ve got shot of the debt I’ll give them a proper go rather than my current couple hour dregs of the day before bed.

Shame ideas aren’t worth the card they’re written on else I’d already have the money to have the time to actually work on them haha

I mean, my side hobbies are taking a learn to paint class at the local rec center. Not everything is about making money.

I averaged 300 calories a day last month, hwhat the fuck is a hobby

I’m definitely an imposter on this site lmao, gosh darn it I do love me some nerd news though.

Hacker News thread

In conclusion life is pointless, but hilarious. Meat combined with electricity and now I have to pay rent.. What the fuck lmao.