Coder's Block

Toy BlocksFor the last several weeks I have struggled with programming.  I completed all of my large projects and found myself with only mundane and/or repetitive coding in front of me.  One day it was so bad that I just clocked out early because I could not get focused.  Beginning this week, I would start my day by coming up with some little personal project to get into the right mindset.  For instance, I wanted to see if I could pull stats from WordPress.com via Perl scripts.  I was unsuccessful but I learned some things along the way.  Because of this I was able to transition to another project and get it completed.

These little distractions were helping me overcome my coder’s block but I still struggled.  That began to change on Wednesday.  I was listening to Buzz Out Loud and the discussion sparked an idea.  I got to work and began toying with the idea for geek-maps.com.  I worked on it for a little bit and then switched over to my work projects.  When I got home that evening I worked for several hours on the site.  When I got to work the next morning, I didn’t have as hard a time getting started.

As I continued working throughout the day Thursday and then on Friday I noticed some nice side-effects.  There was this new energy for my work.  I also found that each project built upon the other and solved problems inherent in both.  Another side effect was the overcoming of my writer’s block.  As I worked on geek-maps, I began writing about what I was doing and the problems I was trying to solve.  My purpose was simple.  I was writing to let visitors know what I was up to and, it helped me think things through.

Writing for geek-maps, I was not worried about the topic or my sentence structure or the tone.  I just wrote.  Some authors say that it is the best way to combat writer’s block.  It took this experience for me to see the evidence.  I have had all kinds of ideas rattling around in my head, but I have not been motivated enough to write.  My hope is that with this renewed energy I will begin to put some of those ideas to paper.