The saying goes: Try everything once except incest and folk dancing, which for me at the tender age of 25 included attempting to write my own x86 kernel, bootloader and a few hardware drivers. Yeah I was and still am slightly mad.
This self-education / masochism ate up many evenings and weekends from 1992-95 then languished on a backup tape for 25 years, until today. Be nice to me :)
For anyone interested in following a similar path, I now recommend the OSDev Wiki, which would have really helped back in the day of almost no Internet!