Whenever I Go Away, I Want to Start Anew…

There's a thrill for me in the initial exploration of an idea, the initial design of a piece of software or web site, and in learning how to use new tools or pieces of software to build the thing that I want to build. ... I don't hate that part of the work but it isn't nearly as interesting to me and it's hard for me to get up the motivation to do it, especially when I have a head full of other ideas to work on. However, getting over that hump and dealing with the issues that arise as a site begins running and getting users, or a piece of software starts to get used by others - that captures my interest again - maybe not quite as much as the initial phase, but there are new problems and there are always unforeseen developments when other people start using a thing that one person has labored over on their own. ... I'm sitting in a hotel today having a very nice relaxing day away from home, and thankfully today's idea for something new is blocked by a lack of good domain names for it (rather than a surplus of self-control).

…a new project.

For some reason when I’m away from home and sitting in a hotel, I often really want to code.

I enjoy the initial act of creating something much more than I enjoy the act of completing and deploying it. This has been the case pretty much since I started creating things. There’s a thrill for me in the initial exploration of an idea, the initial design of a piece of software or web site, and in learning how to use new tools or pieces of software to build the thing that I want to build.

I lose interest when it comes to polishing it and deploying it, though.

I don’t hate that part of the work but it isn’t nearly as interesting to me and it’s hard for me to get up the motivation to do it, especially when I have a head full of other ideas to work on.

However, getting over that hump and dealing with the issues that arise as a site begins running and getting users, or a piece of software starts to get used by others – that captures my interest again – maybe not quite as much as the initial phase, but there are new problems and there are always unforeseen developments when other people start using a thing that one person has labored over on their own.

I have one big and two small projects I’m working on for other people, and one big and two small projects I’m working on for myself. The one big project of mine – UVFood.com – has been up and running for a while. My two small projects are both fun, lightweight things which I’ve convinced myself that I can use to test things before folding them into UVFood. One of them is pretty near releasable; the other needs a bit more work. Both of those projects were started during trips to New York over the past few months.

It’s easier to finish things that I’m responsible to other people for – I know they’re depending on them, and that weighs on me. It’s still tough at any given minute to decide I’m going to work on the thing I should do rather than the thing I want to do. The should/want imbalance is always difficult to reconcile. It … shouldn’t be, but want can seem so big and should can seem so small.

I’m sitting in a hotel today having a very nice relaxing day away from home, and thankfully today’s idea for something new is blocked by a lack of good domain names for it (rather than a surplus of self-control). I’d write “so I should get back to relaxing”, but writing code can be relaxing for me, in the right situation. Apparently sitting in a hotel is one possible right situation for it.

  • My home directories over the years have been littered with half-finished projects that I never found the motivation to “polish and publish”. I’ve found that having a few users on a system can be both a blessing and a curse; when I want to work on it, I feel like I’m doing something useful for other people, but when I don’t, it’s a monkey on my back.

    My brother described it as “seeing there is being there”, in the context of a daily jog; he noticed that he’d let himself start his cool-down walking when he got within sight of home rather than running all the way to the finish. “

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