Here’s a quick update from the road. I’m at my first WordCamp – “experienced edition”, focused more on WordPress development, held at Seattle Pacific University. I’ve long been a fan of WordPress largely because of the incredibly helpful and enthusiastic community around it, but I’ve only just started to actually dive in to that community. It’s been a great experience to talk shop and toss around ideas with like-minded people doing very similar types of work. I’ve got a few pages of notes and a dozen browser tabs full of things to look into when I get back to my own desk: tools for workflow, useful plugins, different approaches and the occasional paradigm shift.
I’m writing from Contributor Day, where I’ve whiled away the time transcribing a video for WordPress.tv and answering questions on the WordPress.org support forums. Around me, I hear coders chatting about their edits and changes and tickets. There’s a good crew of us Vancouver developers represented (we have to be careful to specify Vancouver, Canada as opposed to Vancouver, Washington, since we’re in between the two).
WordPress has been something that I’ve used for years, and appreciated. But this whole experience makes me feel more like it’s just a tool that I use – and more of a living, breathing, evolving entity with lively human minds behind it.
Before coming to Wordcamp, I spent a week on an isolated ranch in the interior of BC on a “working” meditation retreat. I still had my computer along and continued on my current projects, but limited my hours and interspersed them with time spent in a meditation hut or working on breath and voice exercises. It was an experiment at living and working in a new way. Being on satellite internet with limited bandwidth was a slight challenge, but good to know that it was an option. And approaching work from a more mindful perspective made it feel like a smoother, calmer process.
This is one of the joys about being a freelancer: you get to choose what work means to you, and how you manifest it.