It Keeps Me Awake and Drives Me Out of Bed

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In a recently published article on, they say that the most important lists are the ones that answer the two questions:

1) Things that Keep Me Up All Night

2) Reasons I Get Up in the Morning

To answer the 1st and the 2nd, I just recently had been thinking on this very subject.  Number one on this list used to be gaming.  I used to be able to play a good engaging problem solving type of video game that was done well that challenged me for quite a long time – sometimes through to the next day, but times change – I’ve changed.

In 2004 I discovered something that drove me like nothing else that I’ve ever experienced and nothing else since.  Design – not just graphics design, but the entire implementation of it.  I know, this seems a little pointed given that this is my blog site about my experience in design, but it was then in 2004 that I spent 3 days non-stop creating web interfaces for a website that at that time was pretty huge with hundreds of millions of visitors a day.  I’d spend days without sleep, forgetting to eat or even to go to the bathroom, designing and implementing “Skins” as I called them back then, to the forums, image galleries, and front page layout of this popular gaming network website, and it wasn’t just the graphics.  The layout, the typography, the implementation of the logo in creative ways while still maintaining a signature style.  It was my kung fu and… years later now – I look back and really don’t consider much of that work to have been all that good compared to what I can do now – but back then I thought it was brilliant.

That feeling hasn’t gone away.  Any time the company that I work for puts me on a new project, I get that “zing” where my brain is churning on a never ending cycle of problem, solution, problem, solution until I find the optimal pattern to go with and then I go after it and make it happen.  The design comps, the excruciating waiting process while I mentally rehearse the various ways to present the comps and explanations for the various implamentation methods, then once the business decides on what they want to go with, the sitting down at the computer, cranking up the perfect music that I will almost not even hear, but is required regardless – and then the implementation to markup and making it come to life and the entire brain-sucking mind-trance enducing work and joy of seeing everything begin to come together.

That is the good stuff.  That’s what keeps me awake, and when I go to bed, I dream about the work and wake up and am immediately in a mental state of problem solving and project planning.  What needs to be implemented next?  What can’t I wait to get to and to see come to life?  What is still fuzzy that I just know will gain clarity as the project gets closer to completion?

Its good.

The design, the project, and the entire process and discussion and implementation.  I just don’t know anything else that can keep me so whole-body focussed.  I love it.