Reflections On Demoloops

"You end up making good stuff by making a bunch of bad stuff. Which is why everybody who's blocked, the reason they're blocked is because they're committing the cardinal sin of assuming their job is to make something good. You'll never make that. Your definition of good will change as you get better. There will always be something you're not capable of." - Dan Harmon

I have, over the past 50 days, had a self-imposed mandate to post a new, looping graphic every day. It started because I wanted to write more C++ and particularly 3D graphics code with just SDL and OpenGL. It kept going because some people seemed to like them and even I liked a select few of them. I've learned a lot in the past almost two months from a technical standpoint but I hope that those things are visible in the actual loops. Here, I want to quickly go over some of the other things I've learned while working on this project.

Learning in the open is fantastic. Getting feedback on this incremental process is incredibly motivating. Even if it's just one person who interacts with whatever you're sharing: it's as if you're no longer just screaming into the void. Making it very easy to share your thing is important, both from a workflow perspective and for the people you're sharing with.

Not everything you like will get the attention you think it deserves. And some things you think are sub-par will attract a bunch of attention. It's impossible to predict what will get more likes or shares or retweets. Don't get hung up on it and don't get cocky, either.

Thank people for their feedback. If someone has taken the time to look over your stuff, thank them profusely. They didn't need to do that and they've got their own stuff going on. But! “Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.” - Neil Gaiman

Move on. I got stuck on something a number of times. I knew what I wanted something to look like but I couldn't get some aspect of the math or technology working. So I moved on to the next loop and went back to the failed attempt whenever I had time. Inevitably, some new literature or new day would shed some light on the problem. The path to learning something is not a straight line.