Confidence Builders/Guidance Needed

I've been doing programming for years and I understand the language no problem. Unfortunately, it all falls apart when I try to do a project. I've heard a lot of people have this problem, but I never see how to remedy it. Either you can't come up with ideas to code or you have ideas to code, but can't bring them from idea to reality. I've found myself doing applications that are just minor variants of book examples with no real direction for advancing my skills. I procrastinate on doing any projects lately because I doubt my abilities. I don't understand where this comes from because once I finally just force myself to sit and code something it falls together nice enough, thankfully.

Because of my personal hurdles, I find that I'm seeking ways to build my confidence back up and coming up empty. My past posts on several sites (that weren't just me rambling about odd topics) show that I understand different aspects of language (basics, vectors, dynamic memory allocation, pointers, references, namespaces, classes, structs, preprocessors), but when it comes to writing anything I draw blanks. I can do file i/o too, but seem to not be sure when it comes to doing things like make a parser or writing a library or anything. I see projects and get depressed because I feel like I will never get to that quality of skill or ability.

I've been told that it is just a sign I can't program and give up on it all together. I truly feel lost and need guidance.
What are some projects you've taken on to challenge yourself? Are you still working on them?
Dude THATS writers block, writers block is a real thing and i know what im talking about here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Writers_block
^thats you know, you might feel like its reading your mind.


im very familiar with writers block, the reason i know you have it is thats what people with writers block sound like, my mum writes professionally; every year or so she wines like this. 'i taught this high level qualification, but i cant write to that standard myself'she would say'perhaps im not really i writer' and other such things, theres things that you do that help it pass but when she would get over the block she would just tell me to ignore every thing she said.


If you were to sit down infront of mincraft wanting to play it would you play it for a minuet or so and turn it off cos you couldnt get into it?

good examples of different cures are, basketball and cooking bigger fancier meals for a group of people, the idea is to get creative instinctively without having to stop and think.

could you give me a short example of some of your earlier projects i would like to see what you progress onto, self directed learning has no way of knowing what your supposed to progress on to, thas why im not doing anything.



im fine with block because im 'adhd' its real and its on the autistic spectrum, its like being the opposite of an aspy in that i have a constant stream of dopamine that makes it hard to stop thinking (i could sit down and write a story without having to think to make up names for example) unfortunately I have poor focus, so i dont win.

I have a dream, a goal, not just to be the most awsome programmer ever but make complicated idea for a computer game happen, its kind of turning into a movie in my head, but the idea is its the most awsome and original way of using RPG games and levelling up...its a goal and therefor my inspiration.

EDIT: the wiki article and your comment seem a perfect mach dont they? get your free coding hrmm free coding, but its a sign that your particularly good at what you do, the best writers ever got block...and it definatley applies to programin...the other thing thats supposed to work is meditation, but im actualy medicaly incapaple of it.

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I'd try breaking one of your bigger projects up into smaller ones. Once you have a feel for how the smaller projects work you should have a better idea of how to integrate them into the other projects to get the final product you want.

@devonrevenge

Sometimes I question if the birthday in your profile is real and you are actually 28 years old.
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yer tiz, why you think im too wise to be 28? i get that a lot :P
I have no problems with this, my problem is that I have too many projects and I constantly switch between them, so none of them ever get finished.
@BHXSpecter
I think I can relate somewhat. I definitely fall into the category of those not able to think of an idea, but even when I do have an idea I often lose the motivation to start/continue. For me, part of the lack of motivation is directly related to my limited free time. You said if you force yourself you can do it, well then force yourself. I think once you get into a groove you'll be fine, just get over the initial hump.
I don't think doing exercises from books is going to help unless they are advanced books. Find challenges that are less trivial like some of the project euler problems. Maybe join a small open source project, start with small tasks and work your way up. Also take a look at http://aisandbox.com/ , I'm hoping to make a bot after finals. My point is your not going to build confidence doing the same trivial exercises no matter how often you do them.
nvm
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I've been doing project euler and made it to problem 5. It definitely isn't writers block as I have tons of ideas already written on paper and even have a few fan games written out. I bought a book and the first paragraphs sound like my problem, but I don't know if it is or not. That is why I asked for this advice before posting the quotes as I didn't want to sway the advice with what I think it was.


Do you struggle to write programs, even though you think you understand programming languages? Are you able to read through a chapter in aprogramming book, nodding your head the whole way, but unable to apply what you’ve read to your own programs? Are you able to comprehend a program example you’ve read online, even to the point where you could explain to someone else what each line of the code is doing, yet you feel your brain seize up when faced with a programming task and a blank screen in your text editor? You’re not alone.

I have taught programming for over 15 years, and most of my students would have fit this description at some point in their instruction. We will call the missing skill problem solving, the ability to take a given problem description and write an original program to solve it.


I'll definitely find ways to challenge myself more and check out AI Sandbox as well as look into open source projects.
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