Code Slinging for the Soul:
I must confess I have been gripped of late by my return to programming. It's been almost 6 years since I wrote any and recently have found myself once again immersed in it. Unfortunately because of it and some other stuff going on I have slipped from my near mechanical writing routine, and that has been weighing on my mind greatly. However, as a writer I do love to write, but as I do not do so professionally my only compensation for my craft is in the satisfaction of readers enjoying my work. Granted that has seemingly diminished of late but no doubt life's many demands have limited people's time as it has effected my own productivity.
But contemplating this has lead me to a number of thoughts. Some of which are, quite simply, that I myself am getting lost in writing code for some very basic reasons. When I get into working on a program, much as I do when I take on any problem, I tend to get consumed. I literally get lost in working on it and I think in part because it delight's me so. While working on this program I am able to feed my own internal gratification and sense of worth. Every segment of code that I piece together that does what I need it to makes me feel triumphant Every step closer and every single thing I have to look up and try to understand leads me to feel more accomplished. I feel as if even before this project is complete that I myself am feeling rewarded and valued.
Now, I don't mean to sound as if that such a project is a requirement to give my life meaning. . However, you must understand; I don't work anymore. I don't even drive, there are just too many risks with me falling asleep behind the wheel. I have dodged enough bullets in the past and they only get bigger. As such, those little uplifting moments most young men, and well most adults have I do not. I don't get applauded by the boss for doing a good job. I don't even get the contented feeling of coming home tired after a busy day and knowing I have done my job.
In working on something like this it gives me a chance to step outside my normal routine and experience a sense of worth if only to myself. It let's me feel like I am good at something that other's may be able to use and enjoy. I know that those friends and family(not to mention my deliciously gorgeous wife!) will eventually use this program and hopefully find it helpful. They may never say thank you or even truly appreciate all the fine details involved in it's creation. But I think deep down I will always treasure the time I took in it's creation.
So I guess while I write the code for it, and struggle to learn and push my own programming that deep down I am really doing it to feed my own soul. A Writer writes, and a programmer writes code to create something. I suppose I am just writing in a different medium. I still keep pressure on myself to get more work done on my stories lest I loose my grip on them entirely.
I promise more to come soon. Gotta take breaks from staring at code right? Perhaps my inner nerd just needed a chance to wax philosophical. Hope you didn’t mind.