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Side Project Motivation (part 1)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 03:50 PM

During this transition time, between playing and finding / setting up contracts, I have finally, in sputtering fits, started a side project of mine I’ve been bouncing around in my head for a couple years.

When I say sputtering fits, I mean, man, motivation is hard. I’ve had a reminder pop up daily to tell me to work on this project only to be ignored. Sometimes I’ll pull out a notebook and sketch a couple basic UIs. Sometimes I’ll create a new folder and drop in a framework with a few pieces of test code. Once, I got as far as a prototype, but it had components and pieces that I don’t now want or are too complex. Back to the drawing board. Literally: I’ve sketched out new UIs and started the code work from scratch again in the past couple weeks.

Now that I’m a freelancer contractor again, I’m remembering the struggle with motivation. Getting out of that cozy bed, staying off of social media, not always playing in the sun. Granted, part of the reason I chose to time my return to self-employment during the summer was so I could take a relaxed approach to work and get outside a lot. But during the time I do set aside to do work and search for work, it is hard to stay focused. That is the impetus of this post - just to chronicle and spark conversation about my struggle to stay motivated as a single man web agency.

I’ve discovered two things that are helping, in different ways. One is the phenomenal The Great Discontent interview series. I purchased the magazine and have been slowly reading through it over my lunches. These interviews of people in various fields are inspirational both in their encouragement to others, but also in how they discourage me because of where I’m at in my career. I know that’s weird, but it pushes me on. That’s good. It’s that competitive nature off seeing someone else doing really well and want to match them.

The other is a local Meetup group created by the fine folks of Workfrom. Each Wednesday people gather in a cafe to work and collaborate. All types seem to join, whether they’re just trying to get out of the corporate office for a bit or work from home and need to see the world. Everyone is there to work and that knowledge adds a bit of social pressure to do the same; close Facebook.

I better get back to that side project though, it isn’t going to program itself.


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