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The Year of Try It

Page created: 2023-07-19

For some reason, I’m already thinking about 2024.

So here goes:

I seem to be getting better at sticking with long-term projects. Especially at working on them in little doses every day. See temporal-workspaces, time-tracks and project-time.

I’m trying to clear my plate of as many half-finished projects as I can for "The Depth Year" (2023 as I write this note).

After that, I think I’m ready to try something new.

This whole year, I’ve been really good at working on one single project in the morning. I work on that one project until it’s done. Then another can go in the morning slot.

I want to see if I can dedicate that block to just one project over the course of a year.

I’ve got the project picked out and it’s ambitious in scope, but I think it’s within my existing skill set.

The Year of "Try It?"

Why am I calling this "Try It" rather than "Go For It" or "The Year of the Big Project?"

It’s because I have so many interests and hobbies. See: the poly-hobbyist.

When I work on one thing (programming), I feel like I’m short-changing another (art).

(I’ve actually given art a good chuck of time - but that was more about a daily commitment, not about accomplishing a single big work. See my sketchbooks.)

I think this is one (though certainly not the only) reason I’ve always had a hard time sticking with big, ambitious projects.

I always imagined myself in the future as having accomplished Big Things (for modest personal definitions of "Big," of course.) But when did I imagine myself actually doing these big things? Always the future.

I’m calling this "try it" because I want to see what it’s like to pursue this big project for a year. It’s not just about accomplishing the goal. I want to see what it feels like to pursue this particular activity for that length of time.

Of course, I’m hoping I’ll like it.

But this one big project isn’t even the end goal. The end goal is to figure out what sort of thing (if there is one at this time) I might like to work on long-term.

I think I’d like to "try out" various big projects that touch on my big passions: art, programming, and writing.

I think a year is reasonable. I may have lived half of my years already (gulp), but that still leaves plenty left.

Maybe I strike gold in 2024 and that’s the sort of project I want to pursue for the rest of my life. Sweet! Maybe it takes three years and three different projects. No problem.

What’s the worst case here? Maybe I find out that I’m somehow incapable of doing one personal project for a year. Well, at least I’d know it and adjust my expectations?

Otherwise, I guess the "worst case" is that I power through the big project, vow never to do that particular thing again, cross it off my list, and do a "try it" with something else the next year.

Various caveats

I’m not leaving my day job. I’ve still got to keep a roof overhead and food on the table. This is just going to occupy that morning slot.

Other than going to sleep on time, I don’t have much control over exactly how much time I have each morning. Sometimes it’s two hours. Sometimes it’s five minutes.

I will absolutely be pursuing other hobbies during the year. (If I didn’t, I’d probably explode.) But those won’t happen in the morning time. They’ll just expand to fit the remaining "chaos time" on evenings and weekends.

I reserve the right to quit this experiment at any time without too much self-guilt.