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Discouragement is your (at least, my) biggest bugbear with this. You have to keep it fun. Become close friends with the REPL, rather than spending 8 hours (that's a week for a typical side project) setting up an IDE that looks like a corporate environment you won't need.

You're (usually) not going to accomplish much, macroscopically, until you've done a fair amount of ground work (e.g. learning APIs). You need to keep that ground work fun, so whatever structure you impose on the process (to-do lists) needs to be focused on improving this factor.

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