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Bhupesh Varshney 👾
Bhupesh Varshney 👾

Posted on • Originally published at buttondown.email

Why it's OK to abandon your side projects 😉

I wanna tell you that you need to stop being guilty of not actively working on side-projects. Don't take this in the negative way of not doing any projects at all but if you have been beating yourself for not being good at it, I am here to assure you that it's fucking okay!!

Building side-projects is hard, there are 2 sides to the coin.

  1. Finding a problem to fix and start building the solution.
  2. Keeping up the momentum and maintaining it for a long-time.

Both of these sides are equally hard to achieve. But once you have a solution to a legit problem, all of the below monsters can come up anytime during the process, leading you to give up on your project midway.

  • Lack of vision
  • Lack of motivation
  • Burned out
  • No time
  • Not enough constructive feedback
  • Not enough traction/No users

Hear me say this out loud all of these reasons are indeed part of going through a creative process. Building software is one such process especially if you work on something new. Let me try to explain from my personal experiences.

I have been in the burned-out phase for quite a long (it started when I failed to build this project for my college major, but that's a story for another day) and one thing I have learned is that pushing yourself is good, but going over the edge can have harmful effects on your mental state, or even worse, you start to lose interest in software altogether.

Personally, for me, it took months before I was able to get out of that phase and get back to building things I used to like before. But I think I have lost something after that phase, I don't feel the same, feels like a part of my creativity is lost.

The point I want to highlight is that don't beat yourself too much for not working on side-projects every second of your life.
From my little experience of building things the whole purpose of making stuff is not to solve a problem or get users, rather It's to continuously evolve as a human and embark on your creativity

Remember when you say 'no' to something, you're usually saying 'yes' to something else that matters more at the moment. By stopping yourself to work on projects continuously you are giving your brain time to rejuvenate itself and come up with even more creative ideas, hence finding yourself again.

Look at the good aspects for once, yeah? Till the moment you decided to give up. This is what you achieved 🙌🏻

  • An idea came to life 💡(you were creative, this project was your brain-child)
  • A solution to a problem was explored (you are already a problem solver!)
  • You learned & explored something new (not everyone has the freedom to do so)
  • You had fun building it
  • You made mistakes along the way which taught you valuable lessons (no matter how big or small they were)

All of these things have already made you a better software engineer/programmer than you were before starting that project.

Remember you are not alone, read through this lobsters and hackernews thread about people failing to build and/or complete projects.

strong

Remember to talk and communicate about this to your friends or in a developer community you are a part of, the mental toll of giving up on something can be huge, make sure you are honest to yourself about this.

So the next time you abandon a side project, remember to reflect on your growth and be proud ⭐

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