Two weeks to catch up on… I spent around three days each week climbing Django’s learning curve, as evidenced by the increase in dull-to-the-majority posts here about code.
Well, Django hasn’t been so much a learning curve as, er… I need a metaphor for a thing on which you make thrilling progress for a bit, then spend hours stuck, unable to get moving, and then, all of a sudden, you’re through the blockage and on you way, unwittingly heading towards the next obstruction. Oh, it seems obvious now. Yes, learning Django is exactly like travelling the British motorway system. Exactly like it.
I realised last week that, allowing for inflation, my annual income is only about the same as it was when I last had a proper job over seven years ago. (In an attempt to smooth out the sporadic nature of freelance earnings, I pay myself a regular monthly amount.) On the very large plus side of course, I now earn that amount by “working” less than half the time.
I say “working” like “that” to differentiate the time I’m doing work for clients, earning money, from the time I’m in the office, at a computer, writing code, fiddling with websites, plodding through Pepys, blogging, etc.
And this, in turn, has also made me think about this “job” and wonder if I should allocate myself a fixed amount of holiday per year. Not to restrict myself to a limited quantity — what’s the point of working for yourself if you can’t take as much holiday as you like? — but to make myself take more. At the moment I feel I should go to “work” (that “work” is the office, the computer, not paying “work”; it’s so confusing) every weekday I can. There’s so much to do, so much to learn, and I feel guilty if I’m not doing. I take time off only when I’ve booked in advance to go away somewhere, which happens rarely. But if I gave myself a fixed amount of vacation then I’d be more comfortable with the thought that I’d earned a day off occasionally to do with whatever I liked.
Then again, part of me has been wondering whether I should just get a job. That’s a job without quotation marks, you know, a real job. I’ve been freelancing longer than I’ve done anything else full-time in my life, including secondary school and sixth form combined. And a change of pace and focus would, sometimes, be wonderful. The hard thing, of course, is knowing what job I’d want to do, and where. And the inability to decide that is why I ended up freelance in the first place.