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The Froth State

Page created: 2023-03-24

Related: learning, projects, and programming.

Every time I start a new project that will either require me to learn a lot of new concepts or require a complicated design, there comes a time when I enter what I’m calling the "Froth State".

When this happens, I usually have twenty web pages bookmarked, another twenty open in browser tabs, and three or four half-started files with names like test1, test2, etc.

It’s a combination of research and application where I’m trying things out at a pace that is so rapid that I barely get two steps down one avenue before I turn around and try another.

It’s not an exhilirating state of mind, like when I have a "lightbulb" moment in the shower or when I first wake up in the morning. Instead, it’s actually fairly uncomfortable. It’s like I’m holding too many conflicting thoughts in my head. If I’m interrupted during this state, I’m going to be grumpy and distracted. I often cannot even enjoy other activities.

The only cure seems to be pressing forward until one of my attempts finally "sticks" and test7 finally grows to a couple hundred lines of code.

At last, now I’m past the froth and into the crappy prototype phase.