Thoughts on giving up an old project to make room for the new

Today I made a difficult decision to give up doing something that I have enjoyed for well over a year now: writing a weekly chess column at The Chess Improver.


It’s been a major commitment coming up with something to write about every week for such a long time. There have been times when I was overflowing with ideas; there have been times when I struggled to come up with something to write about that I could stand behind. Sometimes I have published something I felt was particularly good; sometimes I felt uninspired; sometimes I just dashed something out of uneven quality. But through it all, I learned a lot from my attempt to convey something specific and concrete that I hoped readers would enjoy and ideally even use to their practical advantage in their own chess play. The best way to verify whether you actually understand something is to write about it! I definitely had to do homework in many cases in order to make sure I really understood what I was talking about, in order to be as accurate and correct as I could.

I even kept on writing about chess during very dry spells in my writing in general, when I wasn’t writing anything for my other two blogs, this personal blog and my programming blog. I admit to being rather embarrassed that during these dry spells, I kept on posting links to my chess blog from this blog. I will never again waste readers’ time by posting links from one blog to another except when relevant.

The law of conservation of time and energy

In our lives, we can’t do it all. For 2015, recent circumstances have led me to commit to a bunch of personal projects that have nothing to do with chess, so I knew, as 2014 comes to a close, that I would have to give up something old in order to free up time and energy for the new. I’m going to writing up a retrospective on 2014 before 2015 comes, in order to plan out how to go about 2015.

It’s not really giving up

I lied in my title. I’m not really “giving up” chess writing; I’m just putting it aside. If a time comes when I feel it is worthwhile to do it again, I may well return. However, for now, I’m shutting it down.


All things come to an end, or at least, an adjournment. I look forward to tackling new challenges as I free myself from the responsibility of writing a weekly chess column.

How do you rearrange your life when you decide to start new demanding projects? Do you try to squeeze them in and cut out “non-essentials” or optimize your efficiency? Or do you decide that you have to cut out significant old projects? Or do you feel that you are already stretched to the limit with essentials (such as young children) and cannot possibly take on anything new?

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