Well, five years of brewing snuck by me.
At the beginning, I focused on beer. And by that, I mean learning the patience and practice it takes. Learning with each batch what I needed to change for the next. Just simple things like, "Oh god I don't have any sanitizer." Or, "I guess glass carboys can break pretty easily."
And after a few years, there were less, "Oh shit." moments. I had poured a lot of bad beer for my friends, and had even more myself. I moved on to focusing on the process. Switching to all grain, specific hoses for specific jobs. It became 5-6 hours that required my mind to be present. But eventually, with every routine, it became routine. I was once again making bad beer. Technically great, but just fine.
So for the past bit I've focused on not just recipe creation, but refinement. And after test after test after test, I finally have a pale ale recipe. Slowly tweaking each ingredient, first the malts, then the hops, and finally the yeast. But as you probably know, with each variable, the previous needs to be re-assessed. Only through the process though, can you understand why cascade works better with x flavors and simcoe goes better with y. So with each building block, it's easier to take a half step back and take two steps forward.
What's next? Repeatability. And maybe a great saison recipe.