Neil Macy

Balancing Many Projects

I have a couple of very different projects on the go just now. I’m working on releasing an iOS app, and also working ona novel. The reason for that combination is about 50/50 between my current circumstances and my scatterbrain personality.

Personal circumstances dictate that I can’t spend a huge amount of time using a computer, outside of work hours. Luckily, I had an app almost ready to release that I’ve wanted to ship for years. So my perennial itch to work on a personal app can be scratched by doing a lot of the non-Xcode side of shipping an app: setting up a website, registering domains, writing marketing copy… All of that is really doable on a phone. But you need Xcode to write apps, and that’s where I’ve hit a bit of a brick wall recently. I have no new features to build for release, but lots of little refinements to make, little bugs to fix.

The other thing that I can do on my phone is write. I have all sorts of text editors set up to help me capture ideas: Apple Notes, Obsidian, 1Writer and Runestone are the main ones I go between just now. Having so much time to think, having lots of ideas, and being restricted to my phone, mean writing is an obvious thing to do.

So I've changed things around a little, from heavily concentrating on the app to being much more focused on writing. (That includes blog posts and short stories as well as the novel, though.)

What's important for me is to know I have options. There are times when I can't open Xcode, so working on Running Track is impossible. But there are also times when I just don't want to work on an app. That's my day job too. And I love the fact that I have other options for creative outlets when I only have my iPhone.

The downside to this is that it means I will have more projects progressing slowly forward, rather than fewer projects thundering ahead. That means I'm slower to actually finish things, which is frustrating because I want to get people using my apps. I want to get people reading my stories. I'm going to have to deal with that though.

Published on 1 January 2023