I attended a code retreat today. As part of the sessions, we were asked to design a solution and write code. At the end of the 45-minute session, the instructor would have us delete all our work. Then the next session would begin, and we would go through the same process again. Brainstorm, code, delete. Not a single line saved.
We had five such sessions. Each time I saw myself getting closer to a more elegant solution. And each time, there was heartbreak when I had to delete my work. At the end of the last session, I was contemplating a rebellion by keeping my work saved. Of course, I didn’t really rebel.
I found it tough to let go. I have read this several times – Never fall in love with your work. Create, get done, and then detach yourself from your creation. Easier said than done. Yet, each time I did delete a solution, it drove me to create something better. It was agonizing yet also cathartic to let go and start anew.
Ok, so here are my questions. As a creator, have you been in such a situation? Did you have to abandon something you did (even if it was one of your better works) and then start all over again? How did it make you feel?