Critical Section


one week

Sunday,  02/05/06  08:44 AM

Hey, I've been blogging for a week!  No big deal, you say?  Yeah, you're right.  But somehow, this is fun.  Maybe what I had to do was take so much time off, that it became obvious that nothing bad would happen if I stopped "forever".  At that point it was no longer an obligation, and hence, it could be fun again...  Wow, that makes my brain hurt.

This is related, I think, to the reason I don't like to keep stuff.  I am a compulsive thrower-away of things, or lately, a compulsive eBayer-away of things.  I like a clean desk, and a clean desktop.  I like an empty inbox.  I like having zero posts waiting in my aggregator.  All of these things - keeping stuff, stuff on my desk, mail in my inbox, are in some sense obligations.  Getting rid of them feels good, in the same way that crossing to-dos off my list feels good.

The same thing happens to me with programming.  Nothing is more fun than "noodling"; building something new which does something cool, something unexpected, something unplanned.  Sitting down at my computer with a task at hand, designed but not yet implemented, is a simple pleasure.  At the same time, building something on deadline - or (gasp!) behind deadline - is not fun; it is an obligation.  It must be done, and requires the same concentration and creative energy, but the obligation makes it less fun.

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