Marshall Bowers

Conjurer of code. Devourer of art. Pursuer of æsthetics.

Some Goals for 2020

Tuesday, December 31, 2019
1027 words
6 minute read

Hello again, travelers.

I apologize for the lapse in communiques; the end of this year has been rather hectic for me. Ever since getting back from Japan things have been absolutely chaotic with the Christmas season. Buying gifts (something that I seem to put off until the last minute every year), celebrating with family, and going to work a few days somewhere in there all make for a rather tumultuous mix. Let's just say that I'll be happy to get back into a more consistent routine.

This time of the year always feels a tad surreal. The days I did find myself in the office it was like a ghost town. When I wasn't in the office it felt hard keeping track of the days. It is within this surreality that I find myself reflecting a lot on things.

I wrote my 2019 year-in-review: an almost-annual tradition of mine that has been shunted to the wayside in the past couple of years. I love writing (and reading!) year-in-review posts, so I feel a little ashamed for letting two years transpire without a proper write-up.

I won't go into all of the details of my year-in-review post, but I will touch on the goals I have set for myself going into 2020.

Write more Rust

For the uninitiated, Rust is "a language empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software." It's also one that I have come to love, despite not having used it as heavily as I would like.

Rust manages to feel like a high-level language while still giving you the fine-tuned performance of a lower-level language like C or C++. As someone who has never really done much low-level programming since my high schools days—in which I couldn't wrap my head around pointers and swore off C++ entirely—learning Rust has been a return to the fundamentals of programming and memory management.

Given that I want to continue getting into video game development, a domain where performance is key, Rust is the obvious choice for someone like me who is used to high-level languages and well-aware of the dangers of writing memory-safe C and C++.

Finish and publish a game

I want this to be the year that I finally release a video game. I know that it won't be some magnum opus, or even a title that holds up against the games that I hold dear, but it will be out in the world and it will be my own.

To that end, I really just need to focus on making games, not engines.

Keep a journal

This goal is one that continually finds its way onto my list, but never seems to get completed. I have tried a variety of approaches to journaling over the years, all of which have failed to help me journal for an appreciable amount of time.

The approach that I am trying this time around, which I blatantly stole off a commenter on Hacker News, is to use Telegram as my journal. I setup a private Telegram channel for myself and I simply post messages in this channel as my means of journaling.

I am already in the Telegram app daily to chat with friends, so there is next to no friction in using it for journaling.

More home-cooked meals

I love to cook, and around our house I'm the one who cooks dinner every night. But there are some nights where I come home from work and I just don't feel like cooking. Sometimes this results in me whipping up a quick meal that probably isn't as healthful as it could be. Other times we'll just order food for delivery, which is neither good for our wallet or our bodies.

I want to become better about planning out and cooking healthy meals for my wife and me. This will take some work to think about what I want to make ahead of time so that she knows what to get from the store.

As part of this I also want to introduce more variety into my cooking, as I tend to rotate through a small subset of meals.

Take better care of my body

The past few years have not been good for me in terms of taking care of my body. I skip meals, eat junk food, and don't get nearly enough exercise. While I have been lucky to not have any major health issues arise so far from this behavior, I know it's not sustainable in the long-run.

I want to take better care of my body, which means eating healthier, exercising more, and getting adequate sleep.

This goal is loosely related to the previous one, in that I hope cooking more meals at home will help me to eat healthier.

Write a newsletter a week

I started this newsletter pretty late into 2019 and I still managed to miss three issues of Errata Exist!

In 2020 I want to write one issue of Errata Exist per week. Even if I miss my goal of having it sent out by Monday morning, I want to make sure that an issue goes out every week, without fail.

I recognize that this will probably be a bit of a push for me, but I firmly believe that it is within my limits to accomplish.

Continue writing more blog posts

2019 was a good year for my blog post output. I wrote nine blog posts, which is a significant improvement over the one or two I would write per year in the past.

I want to maintain this upward trajectory and continue writing blog posts in 2020.

As we head into 2020, and the next decade, I am looking forward to all of the things that are in store. If you have year-in-review posts for 2019 or goals/resolutions for 2020, please, share them with me! I would love to hear them.

Happy New Year!