Lately, in between wedding preparations and other goings on of late, I've been doing some navel gazing and thinking about my enthusiasms and what's next. And, there's one conclusion to which I've come, which is yet half-formed but I think interesting to admit and explore.
You see, the realization to which I've come is that - in the realm of recreational programming, at least - I could be best described as a serial enthusiast.
What's that mean? Well, just look at my history throughout the archives of this blog. I've flitted from nano-project to nano-project, a hack here and a hack there. But, other than in projects where someone's expecting something from me and (preferrably) paying me - I have a very fickle attention span. If you hire me, or have me sign a contract, I'll stick to schedule and deliver as best I can - no worries about that. When I'm in "professional mode," I run on different premises and motivations. But, left to my own devices, I will freewheel and wander between a slew of part-time obsessions.
Of course, on frequent occassion, I return to the themes and constructions I've visited in the past. This has the effect of a sort of sustained, incremental development of my nano-projects, well distributed across time. I drive myself through development sprints, but never quite finish complete products. I share the code, in whatever state I've left it, in the hopes that someone might find it useful - but very rarely do I wrap things up with a bow.
This is recreational programming. I enjoy the process much more than I do the results. This is why I have no particular worries about under what license I release my work. Go right ahead: Share and Enjoy my Sudoku puzzle solutions, because I'm done with them. After all, were I ever to finish something useful, I might get sucked into it and anchored down to supporting it when my interest has faded - and that's no fun, unless there's another source of reward available for continuing the work.
And this is why I think that so far - unless I find something of particular lasting interest or work on modifying my habits - I'll never be a successful entrepreneur on my own. I've got ideas and skills, sure - but I need a partner, or a manager, to keep me and everything else to a coherent and sustained path. I've got energy and I've got creativity, but I need others as social prosthetics to herd me and my mental cats.
So what's my point in all of this? Mostly just writing to think this notion through. I'm sure this isn't a terribly original self-discovery, but it's one that I wanted to admit and elaborate so that I can at least explain myself to myself and work with it. And, having said all that, I thought that there just might be some others freewheeling around out there with whom the phrase "serial enthusiast" might hold some meaning, too.