We have all heard of Writer's block... A writer sits down at their computer ready to write a masterpiece. They have their steaming cup of coffee next to them as they open up Word. They see that flashing vertical line staring back at them in anticipation of what will follow. Then... the writer takes a deep breath in and... nothing. Words don't flow easily from their fingertips like they always have before. They feel like something is wrong with them and as they doubt themselves, they get farther and farther away from their potential creation.
This has happened to all of us in some form or fashion. Today, as I was sitting and preparing to write my 5 month coding update, I realized that for the last couple weeks I have been experiencing what feels like writer's block but with coding. I felt like it would be appropriate to call it "Coder's Block".
While I am still completely in love with my career choice of Game Development, lately, I have been staring at VSCode with a blank mind just as the writer stares at their blank page. Fear and self-doubt settle in and I get distracted.
Charlie Jane Anders of i09.com came up with the 10 types of writer’s block... They seem to fit well into the "Coder's block" box as well:
1.) You can’t come up with an idea.
2.) You have a ton of ideas but can’t commit to any of them, and they all peter out.
3.) You have
an outline your pseudocode written but you can’t get through this one part of it.
4.) You’re stuck in the middle of the project and have no idea what
happens to code next.
5.) You have a terrible feeling your
story code took a wrong turn a hundred pages lines back, and you only just hit a dead end.
6.) You’re bored with
all these characters the current project, they won’t do anything it seems pointless to continue.
7.) You keep imagining all the reasons people are going to say your
story project sucks, and it paralyzes you.
8.) You can’t think of the right
words code for what you’re trying to convey accomplish in this one paragraph function.
9.) You had this incredibly cool
story project idea in your head, and now you’re turning it into words code on a screen and it’s suddenly dumb.
10.) You’re revising your work, and you can’t see your way past all those blocks of
text code you already wrote.
I didn't have to change much from this list... Coder's block is just >writer's block for programmers. So how do we deal with this?
1.) Find a community that lifts you up Be vulnerable and transparent about your struggles. You will be surprised by how many people have experienced or are experiencing what you are going through now. People want to help.
2.) Get yourself inspired! Watch uplifting videos, read inspiring books/articles, or listen to podcasts/music that boosts your spirit up. Sometimes coder's block is just a lack of creative inspiration. Again, reach out to your community for inspiration and ideas as well.
3.) Work on a **fun project** What do you like? Star Wars? Anime? Dogs? Do a fun no pressure project based on your interests that makes you smile. Sometimes just going back to the basics and remembering why you started coding in the first place by doing a fun project will get you back in the groove!
4.) Take a break from it If you are feeling burnt out, step back a bit and do something else for a little while. Sometimes when we are learning something new, we can over-do it a little because we are excited. This can lead to burnout and over exhaustion. Take care of yourself. Do something away from the computer for as long as you need. When you are feeling refreshed, try again!
5.) Clean up your workspace or go to a calm and relaxing place I love to code at coffee shops. I feel like I focus better. If you are struggling to stay focused or are feeling distracted due to coder's block try either cleaning up the area around you or packing up your laptop and going to a chill and quiet place. The energy around you can make a big difference on your ability to focus.
Thank you for reading! If you can think of other ways that you >have fought off Coder's block please mention them in the comments!