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22. Progress (in the Face of Indecision)

I've been struggling lately.

Sometimes I find a sort of groove that makes me feel satisfied and productive. When I started learning to code at Bloc, I was in a groove, in the zone, in "flow" as they say. I was focused and constantly pressing forward with the web applications I was learning to build in Ruby and JavaScript. It felt like I was maintaining forward momentum pretty well, knocking out checkpoints and projects faster than the curriculum even required.

Now, as I work my way through the third–and easily hardest so far–unit in my Bloc course, Software Engineering Principles, I'm starting to feel strained, stuck, like I'm in a repetitive rut. This is probably in part because it's hard to keep momentum going on anything for over a year (it's hard to believe I started at Bloc in June 2016!), and in part because in many ways, I am in a rut. I go to work five days a week, I try to code at least a little bit every day, I try to exercise, I try to balance enjoying my life with pushing myself, I try to set aside uninterrupted time with my fiancee.

But then again, if this is what I want to do with my career, I need to be able to go to a job, sit down, and code for five or more days a week. The thing is, as much as that still sounds like a great goal to strive toward, I started writing again (stories in addition to blog posts), and it reminded me of how much more talented I am at writing than I am at coding.

I mean, of course I'm better at writing than coding; I've been writing since I was six years old or whatever, but I've only been coding since last year. But it's sometimes frustrating to think that I'm barely taking off the training wheels when it comes to coding, whereas I think I'm a pretty strong writer already. It doesn't help that the Software Engineering Principles unit of Bloc's course is by far the most sluggish of the first three, perhaps because it's harder and more abstract material,  perhaps because there's so much material that there's no opportunity to work on projects to add to my portfolio in this unit (and projects, even by my Bloc mentors' admission, are by far the most fun and engaging parts of the course), perhaps some of both.

So should I pursue a writing career? Should I pursue a coding career? Should I somehow meld the two together? This is the sort of thing that often paralyzes me and makes me struggle to proceed.

The solution I'm coming to, I think, is to always do something every day. Read and write for a day, code for a day, work for a day; but always, always, move forward. It's hard to say where it's all leading and what I want to do, but I know that I want to see Bloc through to the end.

After that I'll have to pick a direction. But for now I'm unsure of what that direction will be.

Dan RiceComment