Sunday, November 2, 2008

The unbearable lightness of beginning

A problem I have always had, and which I don't anticipate getting rid of anytime soon, is my tendency to start projects and then leave them half-done. Over the past few years, I've accumulated some depressing number of incomplete projects, which I left with every intention of coming back within a few days, a few weeks, eventually. Starting things is easy and fun, finishing them is... usually not.

You may legitimately ask, "Why are you bringing this up now?" Certainly, it seems like tempting fate, to blog about my history of not finishing things the day after I've started. But, it's not like tempting fate ever works, and even if it did I have awesome luck. Everything will probably work out just fine. (Is that just tempting Fate more? We'll see, we'll see. :3)

I suppose all projects kind of have the same life cycle - there's the beginning part, where all the core work gets done, when everything's still pretty novel and interesting. Then there's the middle part, where interest slowly wanes until you stop working on it altogether. There's never really an end part, unfortunately; the project ends not with a bang, but with a whimper.

(Aside: this is probably why the UNIX pipe model works so well, now that I think about it. Simple programs that you pipe into/out of have much lower overhead in terms of miscellaneous stuff you have to do to get it working, so a greater portion of your time can be spent on the interesting bit, and you can actually finish the program before you get bored of it.)

Then, there's also the ADD factor; once you've begun something, you're susceptible to random urges and obligations pulling you away, sometimes indefinitely. For example, I have to go do readings for government now

1 comment:

Kiriska said...

Well, as long as your anal retentive guilt factor remains reasonably low, unfinished projects aren't really all that bad. I guess. ...I suppose it's only arguably better than constantly beating yourself up over it until it gets done, even if it's a half-assed "done."