The Top Idea

Recently I’ve been having a dozen ideas and projects I’ve been poking around with:

  1. I wrote a simple lua, later perl, which announced when a new day9 episode has come. Later I expanded it to search for new manga episodes, but now it’s broken and unfinished.

  2. In an attempt to learn Haskell I began writing a simple irc bot, but I never did come far with the language and now I’m a bit stuck. I have the bot itself working but I want to restructure it with plugins instead of hardcoding every command and I’d like to have some interactivity like saving state and fetching info from internet. But I haven’t come that far and now it’s on a stand-still.

  3. Totally not related to the other two I want to learn how to draw. On a little whim I bought the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and I was totally blown away. I was a bit sceptic at first but she’s explaining everything so scientifically and the results look amazing. Almost too good to be true. But as always I started but I’m not there yet, in fact a pretty long way from finished.

  4. Back to the programming business. I’d like to update the backend of this site, but to be fair it’s not that important. Just something that’d be nice to do.

  5. What’s worse is my game projects. What projects you ask? Well I started a few much bigger games this time and they have just faded away from my brain little by little and now I’m not that into them. I mean the ideas are amazing, but I haven’t done anything with them.

The issue here I think is that I’m trying to do far too many things at once. Back when I wrote all my experimental games I didn’t have these many things going on. In fact they were the only thing on my mind - you know the thing you think about when you’re in the shower or before you go to sleep. Hell I’ve even woken up, all sweaty, and had a solution but the very problem I had struggled all day with!

Paul Graham wrote a nice article about this a while ago. He’s more focused on startups of course but the core of the article very much applies to me. I’m not keeping the right idea on the top of my mind, instead I think it’s changing - I’m doing too many things at once. One time I’m focused on say learning Haskell but the next day, or even the very same night I’m all wound up about a game I’d like to make! How will I ever get things done if I’m floating around like that?

Of course Paul points out that I’m in good company, even Newton fell into this trap and I have a feeling many more have this problem.