atthis.link

On Finishing Side Projects

Marc on 2021-09-24

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Everyone enjoys tweaking their personal projects to get each feature 'just right', but sometimes it pays to just declare things finished.

Some time ago I published a post on my first year of blogging where I laid out what I'd learned over the preceding twelve months. While I agree with most of the comments I made then, such as that blogging as a thinking tool is the best way to tackle and understand complex topics, there is an aspect of the post I no longer agree with. An issue that only became obvious in the months that followed: The issue of constant re-designs. In the original article I said:

This site may be in a constant state of flux [in its design] but I'm OK with that because each little change forms part of a new skill, a new understanding of all the little areas that make up my field.

It's a valid point; the more you are exposed to a technology or tool, the more likely you are to notice and develop a better understanding of it. That was my reasoning anyway for constantly redesigning the site previously; it offered an opportunity to get to grips better with CSS and (hopefully) get a nicer design for the site out of it.

However this constant back and forth was increasingly coming at a cost I could no longer stomach. Blog posts that could have been written were scrapped in favour of redesigning over the smallest of issues. The promise of new ideas emerging while writing a post disappeared in favour of endlessly tweaking a colour slider. Building a body of work was delayed due to to-ing and fro-ing over fonts.

Sometimes it's best to just declare a project finished and that's what I'm doing with the design for this site. No more redesigns, just more writing.