Neil Kimmett

Working on side projects

11 Feb 2015

Yesterday my friend Norm wrote an excellent piece on the struggles of keeping on top of side projects:

I suffer from a paralysis of action because there are too many things I have thought of and I want them all equally. Everything makes me feel guilty that I’m not doing more.

And so I do nothing.

This really hit a nerve with me. I too am guilty of neglecting numerous ideas and side projects. I have a nasty habit of starting something, happily hacking away on it for a bit, before getting bored and abandoning it half-finished. In just the last month I’ve turned down two opportunities to work on super interesting projects, citing my reason as “I barely get enough time to work on my own side projects, so I have no time to add an extra project”. The truth of it is I never work on my side projects, this blog included.

So, I’m going to take a leaf out of Norm’s book:

This paralysis ends now.

This year, I’m wiping my slate clean. I dumped all of my todos out of Pivotal. I’m not attending any forts. I’m going to kill all of the empty projects in Github. I am committing to working on just two things in 2015, and if I fail I’m giving up on the whole idea of side projects and embracing the sofa sloth lifestyle.

This year I too am wiping my slate clean. I’m going to focus on 2 projects.

The first is this blog. I hope to write more, and I hope that by writing more I’ll get better at writing. I’m not going to commit to any formal schedule, but at first I’m going to aim for at least 2 posts per month.

The second is Weather Widget (working title). This is an app I started at the tail end of last summer. Its a Today widget for iOS that displays the weather for the next 24 hours. The temperature is displayed as a line graph, and the rainfall is displayed as a bar chart beneath it. Just the next 24 hours, just in your current location.

If I don’t stick to this vaguest of commitments I sure would appreciate a gentle nudging from someone. Why don’t you also commit to something and we can form a mutual pledge to nudge each other?

Wish me luck folks, and thank you Norm.

P.S. My first act of sprucing up this blog is adding an RSS feed. Behold: I sure would love it if you added it to your feed reading service of choice.