In the past couple of months I have rekindled an activity that has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I have always loved to write. When I was eight or nine, I had started a Road Hockey league with my friends. Being one of the only kids on my street with a Computer and a Printer, I did what any kid my age would do. I started a Newsletter for my Road Hockey league.
My Newsletter had a circulation of about twelve people, a third of that number being family. My Newsletter got me a gig as a “journalist” for my School’s Newspaper. I would go to the School’s Sports Games and I would take pictures and write about the games. I found this to be incredibly fun and reward.
The years crept by and although I would occasionally get some very low paying or pro bono writing gigs, this skill and vocation fell by the wayside.
These days, I read A LOT. A disgusting amount of books and blogs and articles, etc. For fiction, I read a lot of Sci-Fi and thought it would be fun to try to write a Short Story. What I was the most surprised about was how competent and natural it felt. For many years I have attempted to build “fun” projects. Mostly, things like Mobile Games and Websites. But I have always found that my ideas would meet the inevitable “friction” of actually being something I could release to the World or even have it be useful. For example, with Mobile Games, I would run into obscure issues with the library I was using or my code wouldn’t be compatible with a new update, on and on ad infinitum. The bottom line is that my vision felt compromised by whatever technology I tried to use. Combine this with a day job that is also doing Development and you get burnout and frustration. With writing, there was no friction. My ideas just went from my head to the computer screen with no friction or compromise. It was an amazing feeling!
If you are feeling burnout or fatigue, if you’re feeling like you’ve read wayyyyy too much TechCrunch and HackerNews, I highly recommend just doing ANYTHING that isn’t Development in your off time. No Hackathons, no learning another language, nothing. At least . You will feel so much better and you’ll be surprised by just how much more productive you actually become as a Developer.