Many years ago when the European version of the MMORPG Mabinogi was still active, I was approached by a moderator of the official Mabinogi EU forum. Apparently Nexon was looking for people to translate an upcoming patch for MapleStory, another MMORPG of theirs, from English to their native language. This was on a Wednesday, one week before the patch was to be released, though they didn’t seem to be in much of a hurry. My first question was regarding payment, and after the moderator had consulted his contact at Nexon I was told some numbers. The translation of the entire update into one language would’ve been worth about 750€ ($900), and since I didn’t have anything better to do that week I agreed.
Today I’ve had an epiphany. Half a year ago I wrote “What to do?”, wondering why I keep coming back to one project while trashing others left and right. Today I realized… what I’m trashing aren’t projects, they’re finished experiments.
One day you start a project, out of curiosity, to learn, to grow, and just because. What do you do once you’ve gotten everything you wanted out of it, when there’s nothing left for you to learn, your curiosity being satisfied, but the project not being finished?
In private projects this question can usually be ignored, you might be a little frustrated about the idea of trashing another project, but you got what you wanted out of it, so it’s fine. However, if a project went public and people expect you to continue, it’s getting harder. Do you disappoint them and stop? Do you keep going at a crawling speed because you have a hard time forcing yourself to work on it? Or do you pull through and get it done? Currently I find myself in that exact situation. It’s not the first time, but I struggle with an answer more than usual.