Good ol’ Hacker News is a great source of procrastination but amongst all the rubbish that somehow gets on there (and by rubbish I mean articles that have nothing to do with technology i.e. Mandela articles, geopolitics, travel blogs (seriously?!)), there are a few absolution gems.
One of those gems is the notion that writing about (I don’t like the word blogging) your project is one of the best ways to stay enthused. I can’t even remember the rationale behind it but I can guess that it has something do with:
- Bringing clarity of mind by going through the process of putting chaotic thoughts to writing.
- It’s a great way to show off work that you’re doing to your friends or, if you get lucky, a much wider audience. The feedback loop gets the creative mind excited.
- Each post is like this little piece of marketing (and programmers aren’t typically the best marketers).
- The idea that each post is like this extra (non-code) commit to your repository.
- Writing about what you are doing keeps you focused on individual tasks. Instead of thinking “I’ve done all this work, what should I write about?” it will be, “What should I do this week so that I can write about it?” Knowing that progress is being made always helps the self-esteem.
- It’s always fun to look back and reflect on how far you’ve come.
The last point is quite important to me. Sometimes I wonder where the hell my 20s went and I need to dig back up some photos or think really hard to account for that entire decade of my life. The same can be said of software projects. Mobile Assault feels really dated now but upon reflection there is a sense of satisfaction in how much we created; the game started as a PSP hack and turned into a 25+ mission PSP/iOS game in English, French and Italian with graphics that really pushed what could be rendered on a Homebrew PSP system. Historical screenshots through the versions are a great reminder of some of our milestone releases.
So this is why I’m endeavoring to write something every week about Failed State; I’m going to create the modern day journal of all the adventures and misadventures. Come October, which I’m optimistically targeting for release, I can look back and reflect on all the work that’s transpired yet during the journey, share progress with friends, colleagues and the odd random stranger who happens to stumble across my site.