Neil Macy

Building In Public

I'm currently working on a couple of projects. An iOS app called Running Track and an as-yet untitled novel.

My Projects page has an overview of the current status of all my projects, and I’ll keep that up to date as they evolve.


Neither of the current projects are finished, and I have no timelines for them. I’m working on these for my own entertainment, and I have young children to look after, so progress is slow!

My current approach is to work on things in snatched 10-20 minute chunks, which takes a lot of planning, in order to be ready to just sit down and do something without trying to first figure out what I should be doing, and figure out where I left off.

The book is years away from being finished. The app has a clear runway to the initial release now, but I have no deadline in mind for when I expect to release it.

I’m mostly sharing this to see how it affects my motivation for the two projects. I’m usually quite secretive about things I’m doing. But I find when I don’t talk about things in public, I lose motivation once I’ve done the fun part of the work, then I feel disappointed when I haven’t shipped it. So maybe talking about things will help me to focus on finishing up and shipping something. I’ve already found it’s helped me to focus rather than constantly starting something new.

I plan to write about my progress with working on these projects here, using the tags “build in public”, “runningtrack” and “the novel”.

The App: Running Track

Running Track is an app for tracking your running, and your progress towards goals that you set yourself. It’s as much a test bed for things that I want to use, but can’t yet use in work, like Combine, SwiftUI, that sort of thing.

The app has been shippable, essentially, for years, but I never quite got around to releasing it because it was never quite in a state I wanted anyone else to see. It’s still like that, frankly, but I’m more comfortable with the idea of iterating now, rather than shopping something perfect from the start.

I have a clearly defined MVP, and a clear path to release, so hopefully updates will come quickly. But I’ve also thought that at various points over the last few years(!) and I’m doing this for fun, so if something else fun comes up, I’m not pressuring myself to work on this.

The good news is I’m working on the marketing website, screenshots, that kind of thing. The code doesn’t need touching before I ship (which I keep reminding myself almost daily). Let’s see when I release!

The Novel

I’m still very much in the phase of research and world-building. It’s fiction, set in the near future after an apocalyptic climate event takes place. Very 28 Days Later meets The Day After Tomorrow.

I’ve loved creative writing since I was a kid but I’ve never quite believed writing something was possible until recently. Then I figured I might as well start writing down ideas, and those turned into plots and scenes, and here I am. I have no expectations for this project, but I’m enjoying writing something which I eventually want to share with other people.

Published on 5 November 2022