Finding time for side projects

Posted by Zach on March 14, 2023

My middle child has been really on me to help him mod characters into minecraft, really pushing me for 15 minutes to an hour of free time here and there. He comes up with little concepts and then I try to execute them. I've learned a lot along the way, not just about minecraft modding, but also about how I learn and how uncomfortable it can be depending on where you are on the learning journey.

I've grown very used to being an expert in the little niche that I work in, so coming out of that and being a complete newbie again is extremely frustrating. I get used to things coming easily, but when I'm starting over from scratch it's easy to forget how hard it is to put solutions together when you're unfamiliar with the problem space.

This experience has helped me at my new job, because I'm also being forced to learn a ton of new stuff on an almost daily basis there, it's also extremely uncomfortable after working 10 years at the same place and becoming an expert on everything there. But when I realized that the challenges I faced at work were very similar to the challenges I faced at home with minecraft I realized that as long as I just keep putting in the time, and learning, it will eventually start to click for me.

The parallels have helped me go back to some other side projects where I was at the bottom of the learning curve and realize that these weren't insurmountable challenges, I just needed to keep pushing. If I can just put in an hour or two here or there, next thing you know I'll be done.