Building stuff is hard. Sometimes when you’re willing something into existence, you lose track of time. The days just roll into one another.
Maybe you’ll find the following scenario all-too familiar:
It’s 1am. The monitor is staring back at you. The cursor blinks on line 128, column 64. Over the past hour, the list of friends who are online on IM has been shrinking one by one. It’s the only reminder that there’s such a thing as normal working hours. In fact, your somewhat confused as to what day it is.
But you are so close, ever so close to getting that one thing working. Maybe it’s breaking ground on your new app. Maybe it’s a bug fix. Maybe it’s that cool new feature. Whatever “it” is, everything that’s swirling in your head will be lost in the morning. If you don’t press on now, you’ll lose the thread of the whole thing you’ve been working at all evening.
Anyone who’s ever been bitten by the creativity bug feels this kind of stuff in their bones. It’s a constant paradox between the idea you have in your head and the reality of what you have implemented.
As I think back to the experience of creating Corona from scratch 4 years ago, I can’t tell you how many nights were just like the one I described. For the first 18 months, it was just me, my laptop, and the Corona codebase. There were lots of tough moments, but one thing I believed in was this crazy idea that anyone should be able to create a mobile apps.
I’m sure you have your own crazy ideas too. (And hopefully, Corona’s helping you make it happen). You just have to keep at it day in and day out.
I came across this quote from Ira Glass recently that nails it:
What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.
It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.
The only thing I’d add is: don’t forget to celebrate the tiny victories. It’s the simple things that keep you going for the long haul.
Speaking of which, I still haven’t celebrated Corona’s birthday (turned 4 last month). So without further ado:
Happy Birthday, Corona!
Perfect excuse to go get some cake! Like I said, the simple things