In my day job as a developer at Atomic Object, I work on just one project at a time, giving it my full attention from start to finish. But after work, in my free time, I have side projects. A lot of side projects. Dozens of them, swimming around in my brain, each one occasionally rising to the surface for a breath of attention.
Most of them are what I would call hobby projects. For those, I’m generally content to let my interest and focus levels wax and wane naturally, without forcing myself to keep at it. For example, I’ve been learning to ride a unicycle, but it isn’t really very important to me. If it stops being fun, interesting, or rewarding, I can just move on to something new and exciting, and come back to it later if I feel like it.
But there are some projects that really matter to me — projects that I really want to see through to the end. These are more than mere hobby projects. They’re passion projects.
One such passion project is a computer game concept that has been brewing in my head for nearly a decade. I have made several serious attempts at creating it, but I never got far. Each time, I would start off well, but eventually find myself wandering aimlessly with no clear plan or road map, until I inevitably lost focus and motivation. And each time, I would feel frustrated and disappointed at my own lack of discipline and persistence.
Why did I keep failing, despite my best efforts and intentions? What was I doing wrong?
As it turns out, the answer may have been literally staring me in the face every week.