Admitting defeat

It makes me feel depressed to give up, but I’m shelving my ~halloween website idea~ that I’m unable to finish before, well, Halloween.

So, the context

Back at the end of September, I started thinking about doing a fun spooky homepage on my site, because I enjoy fun spooky things and a homepage project seemed doable for the month. I cycled through various ideas, sketched a lot of things out, drew some other things, prototyped two ideas, and have hit October 30th.

My initial ideas were very ambitious, and I gradually pared down the scope and changed direction as the days went on and I realized I was running out of time. Today, I sat down to bang it out and realized that I’m no longer interested because it’s so watered down from my initial vision. I don’t find it interesting anymore.

It sucks to accept that this whole effort went nowhere, and it sucks more when I’ve publicly Posted About It. But, alas, I’m giving up on it.

Is there a point if I don’t enjoy it

It wasn’t sparking joy to keep building a watered-down idea, and it’s important to me that I enjoy working on my website. And trudging along with this wasn’t, and I thought about whether I’d be satisfied if I did finish this project at all—and, well, no, I wouldn’t be.

If the process sucks, and the end result would suck, and I would still feel disappointed in it all, then I think I should just let it go.

But it’s not a wasted effort

It went nowhere, but I don’t want to say all this time I spent was wasted. It feels that way, but I think I will eventually return to these ideas in some form or another.

Some time ago, I read the blog post Your Work is Starstuff by Joel Califa, about work that ‘fails’ but is still meaningful in the grander scheme of things. A project that fails to launch, but the building blocks get used in a later project that far exceeds the original. And so on.

The context is a quite different—he’s writing about work work and building upon the work of your teammates—but it was helpful to think about even in personal projects. I’ll come back to these ideas, and use them somewhere else, eventually.

Anyway, here’s one thing I wanted to do

I wanted to implement dark mode on my site, because that’s what the cool kids are doing, but also play with content that changes. It’s spooky szn, after all. If you turn out the lights, what happens?

(You get ghosts.)

Well, I didn’t have time to put dark mode ghosts on my site. But who knows, maybe I will sometime in the future, during non-spooky season. Ghosts can hang around all year, as a treat.

Here are some archival screenshots:

Cropped screenshot of my website, showing a mildly spooky drawing of myself peeking out from behind a door. There's text next to it, partially cropped off, that reads: 'Welcome to a new horror. This is my personal website. I'm…in cultivating my own digital sp…internet, away from social med…by day, I design things.'
there was going to be mildly spooky imagery
A sequence of text and pictures. First: 'You enter the haunted homepage'. Then a sketch of a door handle. Next: a closeup sketch of a light switch, switched to 'on'. The text next to it reads 'turn out the lights?' with yes and no options below it.
haunted homepage concept

RIP, into the graveyard of ideas you go.