It’s Probably Better to Just Do Something

About two years ago I had a bright idea that I would build a portfolio site. I’d worked on a few Wordpress sites and had tackled an interesting project or two at work, so I decided my experience was such that it would be a shame to not share it with the world.

I had a week long holiday around the corner and nothing to do, so decided it was the perfect time to bang out the slickest portfolio site anyone had ever seen. It would have beautiful loading screens and animations, it would have weekly blog entries, it was going to be professional, it was going to showcase the process I’d taken with my work (two projects), it was going to be perfect. The result? It was a complete disaster.

I had set such ridiculously high expectations that there was no way they could be fulfilled. My need for it to be visually perfect had me focusing on all the wrong things. Before I had considered who would potentially view the site, what purpose it was serving or whether or not I should even make the damned thing, I had spent hours in Sketch working out all the details.

Instead of addressing who my audience could possibly be, I had picked the perfect font (which, in retrospect, I no longer like).

Instead of writing any content, I had perused a bunch of stock photo websites and picked out header images for blog posts that didn’t exist.

I even made a style guide. A style guide for two fucking pages of filler content. I was so determined to build something perfect the first time around that I ended up spending an entire day or two working out how to jump between blog pages before I had even written my first post (let alone the six that would require navigating to a second page). And then what happened? The holiday ended.

I fell back into the flow of work and put the project on the back-burner. I spent an hour or two here and there tweaking some more pixels on the mock-ups until, eventually, I forgot about it altogether. It was a waste of time for sure, but at least I learned a valuable lesson: it’s probably better to just do something.

A few days before writing this post I was walking home feeling inspired after re-watching a few Wes Anderson movies in anticipation of seeing his new film, Isle of Dogs. I decided it was time to take another crack at a personal site.

This time? Just for the hell of it, I would get something done. I remembered my uncle had once sent me a link to Wes Anderson Color Palettes, joking that I should use it for my next project. I decided to take him up on that and a few hours later the site was done.

Will I write something for it every week? Probably not. Have I sorted out exactly who my audience is and what my niche might be? Nope, maybe I never will.

Is this site perfect? Definitely not, but at least it’s something.