Side-projects are part of human work like. I learned web-development at age of 8 (almost ten years ago!) and I always had a main project at a time. One technology. I knew nothing about side-projects and other hobbies (no Photoshop or anything at all). Since then I learned many things about them, about work and organisation. Here’s what I learned.
Maybe you are an artist. Maybe a designer, a developer, a marketer, a writer, etc. Well, you’re human and nothing’s more natural than getting bored of the everyday routine.
Learning to love the “Let It Go” thinking
What happens when you don’t let your brain breathe is that you drive yourself to the burn out. I know you’ll say I’m young, I never went to a burn out, etc.
The fact is, too much of the same thing is driving you to a depression. Yes, I learned many thing about the too-much: please stop looking at your screen in a 8hrs streak, enjoy life, landscape, relationships… Few years ago I was still doing one project at a time, nothing else (except school) and that drove me to not doing anything for many months because I was too “sad” to do anything.
This is the moment I really understood the signification of “hobbies” and passtime. Then I discovered there’s more to music than just listening-without-learning, their meaning. I discovered why some people love video editing, photoshopping, drawing (sure it sucks when I draw)…
Get rid of this boring routine
Whether you’re self-employed or just employed, sometimes you need to stop thinking about your job and work on your dream.
What are side-projects, then? Well, it comes from the development world I think. In general, they’re projects, things you work on to relax. It can be: drawings, books, stories, movies, musics, websites, apps… In fact, everything that won’t drive you to a burn out are good to take, they must be like holidays. These should not be assimilated as work but rather as hobby.
How to start
It’s quite easy to start an hobby: breathe. Take a pen, earphones, a notebook, a computer and start relaxing. Find an idea that you find interesting, sketch it, name it, enhance it and finally share it!
It’s one of the best way to keep learning while enjoying doing it. You’ll gain experience and technique
According my experience (as a developer), I love having some other projects alongside my main goal, it helps me learn new technologies and stay tuned, here’s what I do.
I’m bad at drawing, in fact I’m bad at every artistic thing existing (yes it sucks, I would love to know these).
The best advice is to start with a small project, spreading the word around you at early stage and above all, never take it as work. Don’t put any expectations at first and if it becomes a burden, it’s maybe the time to drop and start something else. For instance, I write every month on Medium alongside other projects I have. I do it as a hobby, the day it becomes a burden I’ll drop without any regrets
Bad habits are hard to quit, good ones are hard to start.
Document your progress
Now as you started, document your progress: share regularly your progress on social platforms. Spread the word around you to build a community around your project. You can share on Medium, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Everywhere you want, on every platform you like.
You’ll inspire others to start theirs!
Again, as a developer, I like using Glitch to start a prototype and if someone needs help you just click one button and let the magic happen!
I would like to thank Aleksandra Smelianska for proofreading this article :)