2020 Year in review: Sustainability without subsidisation

2020 review

From publishing 17 blog posts (one every three weeks) to launching the beta of my side project, 2020 has been a year of hard graft.

In my post on Steal like an Artist, I assert that both Austin Kleon and Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) have the same advice. To learn and be creative, your first battle is to show up. And it is showing up with persistence that is key.

Visakan Veerasamy frames it differently, but has the same message: do one hundred reps. It’s the exact principle shown in the story of the ceramics teacher.

For me, 2020 was the year of putting that into practice. Showing up and working on Timo for at least 30 minutes most days. And in that time, taking it from a mere toy to something we suspect people will pay for. This of course, is still the burning question.

So too, with my writing practice. While there were many hiccups throughout the year, I still managed to publish 17 pieces. And there’s more buried in Roam Research.

I learned strategies for overcoming writer’s block, what is preventing me from going deeper and levelled up my tooling to enable this deeper thought. I’ve learned that editing is by far the most important part of the process. To remove the cruft. To focus my writing, my reading, and my research.

I now know that reading one book is enough to change your life for good. That doing so gives you a base-level knowledge that so many others don’t have. Which means there’s plenty of love to share.

Future thinking

My ambition is to change the lives of people around me. To raise them up and help them make strides forwards.

To pursue this in earnest, I must achieve sustainability. Sustainability without subsidisation.

I’ve struggled to articulate this for years, and it’s scary to be able to share it with you. Let me explain.

Sustainability means growing wealth to where I am able to share it freely. To grow it to where I can shift my daily efforts towards helping others in an impactful way. It means being less dependent on subsidisation of full time employment.

My efforts are all aimed at reaching this point.

2021, then, is for consolidating what I have already begun. In short, I will:

  • Launch and validate the paid version of Timo
  • Kick off at least one other monetised project
  • Write 26 blog posts (that’s one every two weeks)
    • At least 3 of which will be long form pieces
    • At least 3 of which will be guest posts for another publication
  • Tweet at least once a day every day for the entire year
  • Begin investing a portion of my income in order to grow my wealth

And I’ll continue to evaluate these as a means for achieving the mission.


This is my first time doing a review of my year. I’ve written over 6000 words, following the open source Critical Recalibrations (via Jon Gold & Zarinah Agnew). I cannot stress enough how much I would recommend it to anyone. I have gone deeper than ever before, and I can now articulate my life goal in a way I previously could not. It’s been a formative experience for me. And I will return to it multiple times from this point forward to update my thinking, and course correct as I learn and grow.

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