I have been interested in web development and coding for a while now. Every time in my life that I've felt lost or uncertain about my future, I find my way back into coding and building upon my dev skills.
And then life happens, and I fall out of the habit, and I forget how much I enjoy learning and building new things.
Getting back into the habit can be really discouraging, especially if it's been months since I've last touched a line of code. I found myself trying to revisit old projects, but beating myself up about how much better the final product could have been if I had just stuck with it.
I've tried to build my personal website many, many times. I start working on it, envisioning a beautiful final product, and I quickly get discouraged because at this point, my skill level doesn't meet the bar I've set for myself.
It wasn't until recently that I realized it doesn't need to be perfect, I just need to do it.
I'm reminded of this excellent quote from Ira Glass:
“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.”
I never connected with "fighting my way through" because I never gave myself the chance. Once I lowered my self-imposed expectations, I was able to build a site, work through the challenges I was facing and get something working. It may not be pretty (yet!) but I'm beyond proud of it.
My advice to you if you're in a similar situation: keep it simple, keep moving forward, your skills will get better over time.
I originally posted this on my blog at LaurenFosgett.com.