I’m getting back into hacking like crazy. I think next time I start a project, it’s going to not involve coding. Like carpentry or something. I want to build my own desk with monitor stands and lots of space to spread out my stuff on. Just anything that won’t force me to obsessively try and retry the same error corrections time after time in the vain hope of making a little dinosaur shoot lasers out of his face on my computer screen. I’m getting slowly nearer to the end of my monstrous object-oriented programming self-tutorial, and I’m quickly remembering why it was that I took that big two month break in the middle of my work. I feel like my brain is going to fall out of my ear – that’s how concentratedly I’ve been thinking in attempts to fix the multilayered coding issues that appear without fail every time I think my game is going to do exactly what it shoud. I have spent the last two hours straight working on what amounted to one bug in my code – and it’s still not fixed. Every day is a new challenge with a project like this, especially if a lot of the code I’m using was written when I didn’t totally understand the power of OOP. It’s absolutely mind-numbing, but I’m totally glad I’m doing it; resolving code bugs comes with a feeling of great accomplishment (except on the rare occasion that I go to bed without having solved the problem, in which case I wake up a little pissed off).
Seriously, I don’t hate this work that I’m putting myself through, it’s just a task that causes a lot of mental strain, and for anything like that, you need a bit of a cooldown/decompression period after you’re done. Otherwise, your brain just continues on the same trajectory and you’re all distracted around your friends – you’re detached, spacey, and kind of annoyed that you can’t solve your bugs. That’s why you have to know when to stop. Any time that I make some definitive breakthrough, major or minor, in which I come to understand for certain something about a program’s operation that I didn’t before, that’s a good time for me to stop. That way, I can console myself in my failure to completely resolve a bug with the knowledge that I am, for certain, one step closer to doing so in the future. The problem with this is realizing when it happens and forcing myself to stop coding. It’s addictive, man. I think I have a problem. This and video games, right?
The moral of the story is, essentially, quit while you’re ahead when your brain starts taking off during hacking. Otherwise, the rest of your day may not go well (if you’re me (or if you’re you (which you probably are (I think)))).