I am burning out

I haven’t burnt out, yet, but I can feel it coming. I’m not sure if this is something I can avoid, something inevitable, or maybe something I can soften the blow on and make a little less painful. I think there is a burn out on the way, and I’m going to at least be observant.

The one good thing we can get out of pain is a lesson for the future.

I’m a software developer and I’m part of the “open source community”. I like to think I know some big people in my little world, but I don’t pretend like I am one. I use some great software by great people and I know what I’m doing when I sling code.

No one uses much of what I write, and in this community, that fucking hurts.

Even if I know this is quality stuff, even if that really is true, the fact is it isn’t the only thing that matters. We pick our tools because they’re the thing we need for the job we have at hand, and that just isn’t the case for much of what I write.

I’m speading myself thin writing libraries and tools that I release, document, announce and find myself the only or primary user of. I’m king of my own little software ecosystem, and I love my tools as a user. As a maintainer, however, I’m hurt.

I’m hurt you don’t use my website platform.

I’m hurt you didn’t use my journal tool.

I’m hurt (so few of) you use my plugin loading library.

And some days, when a weekend passes and I played at the park with my son, helped him in his first programming project on the RaspberryPi, enjoyed a movie at home with my wife and a bright spring Saturday morning at the farmers’ market… but I end that weekend just kicking myself for the code I didn’t finish?

I have to wonder how its worth it. I think you’ll do fine with out me, at least for a while.