Programmer’s block

I am not sure if there it is well known, but I know I am going through it now. I feel like I haven’t been able to write any creative programming solution to a problem off late. Yes, I did code a lot – but none of the stuff was new, creative or challenging. It’s some old solution picked out from my memory and dished out. I am having a terrible phase of programmer’s block. I can’t think of new solutions, new problems. Any time I want to do something cool, I am hindered by my lack of skills. I have some great ideas that can be turned into good sites – but my dwindling skills in ruby on rails is stopping me. Everytime I think of my projects, I think of how I have to finish reading my RoR book.

This lock-in situation is not leading me anywhere. I am kinda blocked and I really don’t know what to do? Yes, ajax is interesting, javascript can be fun, ruby is amazing – but you enjoy them only if you are writing programs that solve real problems not just some hello world program. So, how can I pull my head out of this dirt and get started? What other tools I can use?

Learning is such an impediment sometimes. Right now the thing between me and my projects is lack of skills. I need to work more on building my skills. But when I am still building skills, I am losing interest in the subject. How can I balance the learning of tools and keep my interest in the work? How can I create creative targets for myself and achieve them?

In the book ‘Flow’ – the author mentions key ingredients of getting in flow.

  1. small sequence of tasks leading to a goal
  2. set of rules/principles that contain these tasks
  3. attention & focus on these tasks
  4. skills matching each of these tasks

I have everything except the 4th. Without skills to match my to-do project list, I feel lacking something important. Everything can’t be achieved through trial and error. How do I get over with this block? How?

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