Wow…It’s Been Over Two Years Since My Last Post on RyanBickett.com

I have to admit my goals were not obtained during 2012 (the last time I wrote a post on this blog). No excuses. Laziness may be to blame (probably is). Or maybe it was simply a lack of focus.

Then came 2013…kind of a wash. Not a wash in a bad way. Actually, a wash in a good way. My wife and I welcomed our first child. A son. So, 2013…also a wash as I was preoccupied with my wife and son. He’s fantastic…he brings a smile to my face just thinking about him. If you saw him, he would bring a smile to your face as well. I promise.

Anyway, so that little intro brings us to the present. Life has happened. Goals have slipped. And here we are. Or here I am. The goals I had back then have not left me. They are still burning. To be honest, they are more prevalent then they were before. However, I am in a different place now. A slightly more challenging place. More responsibility. More stress. More… Do I listen to my heart…or do I continue to follow the “practical path”. It’s a tough call…especially when you have others depending on you. I don’t know where I will go. All I know is where I am now. I love my family. I love my wife. I love my son. I love my pets. I love my life. I am optimistic about the future. I am just in a transition. And scared. I don’t know where life will take me from here. However, I do know that life will take me where I need to be. To support my wife. To support my son. To care for my pets. To be there for and support my friends. Those are the most important roles I will play in this lifetime.

I am going to try to write more. I love to write. I love to think. I love to express my thoughts. I love to be able to capture life and reflect. Hopefully, you are interested in what I have to say and can share in this journey. I would love to hear your thoughts. What are your struggles? What are your triumphs? Life is challenging and exciting at the same time. Life is a different journey for everyone. However, I think we all learn something from one another. And I love that.

Starting the New Year with a Clean Slate

I started blogging several years ago. As is the case with many bloggers, my initial blog was basically just a personal journal. I’d write about whatever happened to be of interest to me at the time. One day I’d write a post about web design or graphic design. Then a few days later, I’d write  a post about my favorite band. I was just having fun documenting and sharing my thoughts in this way.

After a while, however, my life seemed to be getting busier and busier. I had switched my day job. Additionally, I had decided to go back to school for my master’s degree which had been a personal goal of mine. With the new and added responsibilities and priorities in my life, my blogging efforts took a backseat and were soon non-existent.

Fortunately (I think) my interest in blogging never really went away and has actually continued to grow over the last couple of years. I managed to complete my master’s degree at the end of 2010 and finally find myself with a bit more time to focus on a few of my personal interests.

Here we are at the beginning of 2012. It’s the start of a new year. I see this as a great time to start fresh with a sort of clean slate if you will. I have some lofty goals and ideas and am hopeful that during 2012 I will be able to bring a few of these to fruition.

This website will continue to be my personal journal. Additionally, it will serve as my playground where I will build, test, bend, and break things on a fairly regular basis as I continue to build upon my web design and web development skills.

So, cheers to a new year and starting fresh with a clean slate!

The Importance of Setting Goals

Towards the end of December of 2009, I was getting ready to write down and commit to a few new years resolutions for 2010 and beyond. December 31st came and went and yet I had not written down or committed myself to any of the resolutions I had been contemplating. One such resolution was to begin blogging on a much more frequent basis. Well, simply look at my last blog post (July 2009) and you will see that I haven’t begun to live up to that resolution yet this year (maybe this post will be my late start). So here I sit at my desk. It’s February 21, 2010 and I am still contemplating my goals for the next year as well as what I’d like to accomplish both personally and professionally in the next five years. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on this subject lately and decided my first post of 2010 would be on the importance of setting personal and professional goals. Below is a list of articles and resources that discuss the subject of setting both personal and professional goals. I’ve found these articles to be extremely helpful and hope that you do too! Continue reading “The Importance of Setting Goals”

7 Best Practices to Follow to Prepare for a Website Redesign Project

Is your website ready for a facelift? Have you been thinking about the need to redesign your current website, but just don’t have any idea how to go about it or where to begin? Depending on the size and complexity of your website, preparing for a website redesign can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are some best practices that you can follow to ensure that you setup your website redesign project for success. I am going to cover 7 best practices that will help you prepare for your next website redesign project. Continue reading “7 Best Practices to Follow to Prepare for a Website Redesign Project”

Bella (Pet Dog) Diving Off a Dock for Her Favorite Toy

The 4th of July holiday has now passed. It was a busy, but very good one. We spent time at the family cabin as well as in my hometown of Prior Lake, MN where we went to enjoy the fireworks display.

We had a great time at the cabin. One of the highlights had to be playing with my sister-in-law’s and brother-in-law’s pet dog, Bella.  Bella has always been a playful dog. Over the past few years, she’s grown a huge affinity for swimming and playing fetch in the water. This weekend was no different. Bella was basically playing fetch all day long with whomever would throw her toy out into the lake. After playing fetch with her for a while and realizing her toy would sink when thrown out into the lake, we also noticed that Bella was getting even braver. She started diving under the water for her toy! It was hilarious to watch. So, I had to grab a quick video of Bella’s diving skills and wanted to share it. Continue reading “Bella (Pet Dog) Diving Off a Dock for Her Favorite Toy”

The Key Elements or Components of a Successful Online Community

As I’ve mentioned before, I am currently working on a personal website project. While I am not ready to share any real specific information about the project, I do want to discuss the basic premise of the project which is to create an online community for a specific niche that I am passionate about. I’ve been doing some research on online communities and thought that it would be a great topic for a blog post. In addition to sharing my thoughts on this topic, I’d really love to hear your feedback and thoughts related to online communities. Anyway, as you can see by the title of this post I’d like to discuss the elements or components that play a key role in creating successful online community websites. Continue reading “The Key Elements or Components of a Successful Online Community”

Learn to Start Your Own Freelance Writing Business

To say that I am a writer would definitely be an overstatement. Writing is a craft that I have never been very good at. Words just do not seem to flow out of me as they do others. I’ve worked with several extremely talented writers over the course of my career and have always been in awe of how easy writing came to them.

As I’ve become more and more interested in blogging over the course of the last several months, I have a renewed interest in learning more about what it takes to become a successful copywriter. While writing is not my main passion or career interest, it does play a key role in what I do professionally. Continue reading “Learn to Start Your Own Freelance Writing Business”

A Great New Group of Inspirational Niche Gallery Websites

As a designer, I am constantly seeking inspiration. For me, inspiration can come from many places. It can come from nature while I am outside taking my dog for a walk. It can come from the music I am listening to or a video I am watching. Inspiration can even come to me while I’m reading a book. When it comes to website design projects, I often turn to website design gallery sites for inspiration. There are many amazing designers and artists out there creating beautiful sites. Recently, a new group of website design galleries was launched by Steven Snell of Vandelay Design and DesignM.ag.

After checking Steven’s website galleries out, I wanted to share them with you. One of the great things about the galleries Steven has created is that each focuses on a specific niche. When looking for inspiration for a specific project, I am usually looking for a site that serves a similar purpose to the website I will be creating. Many gallery sites are more general in nature. So, I find myself spending a lot of time looking around. While I enjoy viewing these sites, it’s not always the most productive use of my time. Having specific niche galleries is a great way to focus your inspirational search on a specific type of website. Continue reading “A Great New Group of Inspirational Niche Gallery Websites”