I seem to have hit an interesting cycle of professional life. Hire, work 70 hour weeks, burnout. Hire, 70 hour weeks, burnout. My independent development fits into the cycle. When I did work for Planeshift I was in the burnout phase - but then I ran out of time to hack when I started to look for new jobs in the "quit" phase. I lost my Planeshift development responsibilities and instead started flailing about in my new (paid) job.
Recently I went through another burnout period, which yeilded the beginnings of ConsultComm version 4 and DeskBlocks. But ultimately before I was even finished I started to interview for new jobs, quit my old one and move on to the flurry of a new corporate projects.
I'm starting the new job soon, and I'm sure that means my open-source development will once again need to go on hold for a bit. I'm hoping to finish my latest round of ConsultComm bugfixes first, so I can at least leave with a clean conscience.
Paul Graham wrote a good article that pretty much explains the above circumstance in his article “Holding a Program in One’s Head”, which pretty accurately reflects the difficulties of hacking. Code often exists like a house of cards in your head, and one weak wind can send it all into collapsination. It's really bad in the office, when random walkby's and phone calls are pretty much modus operendi.
At least I'm starting over again. And a fresh start means I might just make it happen this time, right? Right?