Pressure is on always.
I need to apply for jobs. I look at job postings. Employers want lots of skills.
I need to get more skills. I take online tutorials and follow blog how-tos. I do what they say.
I need to commit to GitHub every day. I need to commit something amazing that I have done on my own without a support group that looks like the next big thing.*
I have to make time to learn and do my own stuff. Do I focus on little skills (do this one thing) or bigger ones (libraries and frameworks)?
I decide to make something biggish. I want it to be mobile first and need to sketch it out. I need pen and paper. But I need to code. If I don’t code and prove it on GitHub, I can’t possibly be improving anything. So I wing it. I don’t like what I make. Looks unplanned. It is unplanned. It’s ugly, but the jQuery works or the component shows up. Whoo hoo!
I do this; I do that. I’m busy busy busy. Mornings with CSS. Afternoons with front and backend. Read best practices for UI. Read “The Art of Readable Code”. Ignore that lovely escapist novel you wanted to read. Again.
But where is the much-needed void? Where is the time I spend on the couch staring at the ceiling thinking of nothing until an idea enters? Where is my GitHub repo for that? No. I didn’t code today. I let my mind wander, and I got this great idea …
This is my problem. No one makes me do what I am doing. I am doing a great job working on getting (and remembering) new things, but I am not doing a good job of doing nothing and letting my mind go. I can’t combine this with running. I can’t stop and write ideas down by scraping notes in the sweat and sunscreen on my arms.
It’s time to let myself get bored. Do very minor code changes (make ES5 functions fat arrow functions, alter style, did I really want that colour?) and then do nothing impressive. Get bored. Wonder “what if …”. Think back to my classroom and what I wish I had an app for. Come up with a story for a VueJS book. Be unbusy and let ideas enter my brain.
Then write that shit down, woman!
Get over yourself. You love to code. You’re new, you need to learn more. But you love it. And you know you’ll love it even more when you’re building what you’ve thought of, so let that happen. Not typing
transform: rotate(-45deg) every day does not mean I’m not a developer. Planning. Drawing. Designing. They count.
The pressure is on from people I don’t know, so why am I adding to it? I am my project manager (micro managing and stubborn), UI designer (clearly drinks too much), front-end developer (tenacious but a bit high strung at the mo), and backend developer (very green, might get the boot). I am also the janitor, cook, pet carer, housekeeper.
I’m not even close to being Mr. Torrence, but I’ve been staying away from the water heater.
*I know that isn’t true, but you know that this is how it feels.