Easing Into 2018

So, it is almost mid January and I find myself getting my WordPress grove back.

The WordCamp Circuit

Last year I purposely did not attend my normal 6 or 7 WordCamps in the hope that I would be able to make the trip to WCUS. Alas, that trip did not materialize, so I am kind of WordCamp hungry, if you get my drift.

A few days ago I submitted two presentations to an upcoming WordCamp which is about an five hour drive for me. Not bad, not bad. I will be taking my son with me as I now he enjoys going to new places and meeting people.

My Topic

I have chosen to give a presentation on Beginner Gutenberg features. I have some good resources to use and to recommend to the people in attendance.

I know that I am going to have to make it "very clear" from the beginning that I am not a developer or designer. I know this topic has a lot of controversy.

My Prep

I ran across this quote a day or two ago and it seems to fit!

"Be so good that they can't ignore you" Steve Martin

I know that there are very strong feelings about the Gutenberg Editor and I plan to be prepared for some tough questions.

I have reached out to some of the people in the WordPress Community and am seeking advice or recommendations. As always, people are very helpful.

Video Resources

AS of the 10th of January, there are some videos available on WordPress TV. Matt Mullenweg provided time during his State Of The Word for not only a Gutenberg demo but updates to WordPress core.

Also at WordCamp US was Morten Rand-Hendriksen with his presentation.

More recently is this video from WordCamp Kuala Lumpur.

So I have plenty of material available and have been spending a good bit of time trying out Gutenberg.

We shall see how my presentation goes at WordCamp….oops, almost slipped up.

busy, busy, busy

Keep yourself busy if you want to avoid depression. For me, inactivity is the enemy.

Matt Lucas

It has been a crazy few months for me. I did not like the fact that I had to put my efforts with the WordPress TV team aside for a while but life has a habit of interfering.

It started in February when I found out that one of our ministers at the Methodist Church that I attend was being moved. This is a normal practice within the Methodist Church. Ministers get moved every few years. It's just a fact of life.

Now, what made this somewhat distressing was the fact that the ministers wife did ALL of the setup for the worship services, which take place on Thursday evening and twice on Sunday.

The tech team had made a big switch at the beginning of the year. New projectors with screens, new cameras and controllers and finally a new iMac and worship software. I have been working with Macs since 2011, so that was not an issue with me. The problem was the prep and setup of the services. I had never done any of that work and was pretty much clueless as to what the preparation entailed.

The minister and his wife were due to make the move at the beginning of July. I knew that they would be very busy getting ready for the move. So in early April, I started working with her, learning what information was needed for the worship services and more importantly, learning how the new worship software worked.

The program is called ProPresenter 6 which is made by a company called Renewed Vision. Simply put, the program creates slides for each part of a church service which are output to a projector and shown on a screen. This includes announcements, upcoming events, prayers, hymns and of course the sermons.

I worked with the ministers wife for a few weeks and then in May started to do the entire services myself. I had an idea of what kind of time was needed, so I was prepared to use some vacation time as was required. My routine soon started to look like this: I would get the prayers and hymns for a service a week or two before the date of the service. Usually a few days before the service I would receive the sermon. One great feature of the ProPresenter 6 program was the fact that you could import PowerPoint files directly into the program. This enabled me to do some of the work from home. Another feature was the ability to import hymns and bible versus directly into the program. This worked fairly well but everything needed to be proof read to make sure that there were no differences.

I would usually go in on a Wednesday afternoon or evening, get the Thursday service ready to go and at least make an attempt to do the setup for the two Sunday services. Then I would go in sometime on Saturday and finish the setup for Sunday. Including the prep time that I was able to do at home, I was spending 6 to 8 hours a week on the three services. This did not include the time I was in the church for the services.

Now, after a month or two, something happened that I did not foresee.

As I was spending time working for the church, I had to scale back the time that I normally devoted to my volunteer efforts with WordPress TV.

Please understand that I am not moaning or groaning, trying to make it sound like I was super busy or bragging. I ran across this quote the other day.

“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.”

Graham Greene, Ways of Escape

IN FACT, this quote kind of kicked me in the ass and made me want to write down some of these thoughts I have been having.

So, I muddled my way through the summer months and into the fall season. Thankfully in November I was notified that I would be able to turn over my duties to a person who was going to be employed by the church to do the setup and other duties.

To say I was relieved would be an understatement. I did spend several hours showing the person how the system was setup and how it worked. They picked it up very quickly (much quicker than I did). It has worked out very well.

Over the time period I am writing about, I was able to spend "some" time creating interviews for WordPress TV. Not as much as I wanted but I most certainly did not want to drop out of site.

It is a great team and everybody understood what was happening in my life. Now, I am trying to get back in the grove and we shall see what happens next!