A Severe Case of Burnout

Hi, everyone. I'm just going to cut to the chase here: After years of hard work, I'm finally burnt out. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that this is not the kind of burnout that will go away if I take a break for a while, and I also fear that the only solution to it is to lighten my workload and focus on things I still enjoy. However, I think I am getting ahead of myself at the moment. Let's rewind a bit.

How it Started

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when I began to really feel this way, but a few months ago, I started to become somewhat tired of working on software projects. At the time, I figured it was just a brief thing that would pass after taking a week or two off. But it didn't. I had been working on a lot of updates for existing projects, and I figured that maybe I just needed to work on something new. So, that's what I did. I made a new website for myself, and when that didn't motivate me to work on my apps, I started work on a new iOS app. This would become StreakWriter, and I will admit, I did have some fun working on it. However, more often than not, spending time on that project was very tedious and boring. With this, I finally came to a long-awaited realization.

Not Fun Anymore

What did I realize? In short, making mobile apps just isn't fun for me anymore. Not only can troubleshooting them and making them ready for production be very exhausting, but even when the app is good enough for release, I still have to spend a great deal of time setting up the store listing for it. Once all of the steps are complete, the app is approved, and everything is ready to go, I still need to periodically release updates and patches for it. What I'm trying to say here is that this hobby takes a lot of time, especially if you're doing it solo like me. Traditionally, this has been okay, as I've found it rewarding enough to justify the time commitment. Sadly, this isn't the case anymore.

How come? Put simply, as my projects have gained more and more traction, maintaining them has become increasingly stressful and time-consuming, and it's gotten to the point where I'm honestly just ready to be done with all of it. That's what I realized, and that's where I'm at now.

My Plan

As you may know, though, I do like to have a plan. Thankfully, I have a solution for this burnout situation: I'm going to take a very long break. I won't be replying to emails, reviews, or anything of the sort. There won't be any new updates, and almost everything will remain the exact same as it is now. The only thing I plan to work on is a few blog posts, as I still enjoy writing about my other hobbies. Otherwise, I'm going to be stopping everything for the next one or two months.

What Then?

To be honest, I've been exploring a lot of new hobbies lately, as I'm really starting to lose interest in programming. However, I'm not done with it entirely. Here's what I think I might do once my break ends, at least for the moment:

  • Get off the App Store and Play Store: To be honest, it's just too stressful and unenjoyable to continue distributing apps on these platforms anymore. I want to see where I'm at in a few months before I make any major decisions, but I'm seriously considering this.
  • Use GitHub for future projects: While I do suspect that I'll stop coding as frequently, I still hope to occasionally work on some developer projects in the future. I'm pretty fond of GitHub, and I suspect that it will be where most of my future works end up.
  • Focus on other hobbies: I also think that it might be helpful to start focusing on other hobbies more. Already, I've shared some of my other interests on this blog, and I plan to keep doing this in the future.
  • Cancel most existing projects: I know that I recently shared that I hoped to continue working on Violoncello for another year, but I'm now leaning towards discontinuing all of my main projects. Again, this won't be decided on until I've had some time off, but I'm ready for a change.
The Conclusion
While all of this could happen, keep in mind that this is simply what I might do if taking a month or two off doesn't help with my severe burnout. I'm not super hopeful that it will, but I want to have some time to reflect before I do anything major. We'll have to wait and see how I feel in a little while, and whatever comes next, I'm sure it will be awesome. I just need some time to think.

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