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What I Did Over My Summer Vacation

Photo © 2009 CC 2.0 BY

I did not laze around on the beach all day, everyday, reading books, writing on my laptop– Ah, that would have been fun.

I’m actually still on my “summer vacation,” even though the calendar and the weather both say we’re well into autumn. Because it wasn’t really a vacation, although it was a vacation from full-time writing.

I’ve been spending most of my time on a full-time software contract, developing software for a commercial search engine (which does not have a ‘G’ in its name). A big surprise to me: I discovered that I haven’t lost my touch. I fell into developing code just as easily as if it had been riding a bike. But I also have been maintaining a sense of distance from the project, doing the work for the money–doing my best work, yes, and giving my best advice, but not becoming personally invested in the results. (And if you don’t understand why this is such an important transformation for me, I recommend a National Geographic documentary about stress, which I recently watched, especially the very last segment.

I also discovered that I still make mistakes after almost 30 years, but at least I learn from them. And at least the mistakes are on the margins, subtle.  Click to continue »

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