How do I get back into the swing of programming and coding regularly when I can't concentrate and can't find the motivation? Long, continuing illness has made me out of practice and lacking in energy and concentration.
I've had serious health problems for the last 5+ years. They won't be getting any better for several more years. I was in college when they struck, majoring in Computer Science. I struggled for years, trying to stay a full-time student so that I kept my insurance coverage. Eventually I had to give up because it was just hurting me (fortunately by that point I was eligible for other insurance). For the past two years, I've done a whole lot of nothing.
I'm on SSI, which is really not enough to live on even if I were healthy. My energy levels are way down, both from not feeling good and having a mostly solitary, unengaging life. It amazes me how much most people get done before lunch compared to what I manage all day. I can't muster the concentration to code like I used to.
I might be able to get back into it if I had people to work with, or a school or collaborative setting to work in, and real consequences to giving up. Or I might not. Actually going back to school is not an option due to finances and lack of availability of suitable courses.
I've been trying to work through courses that are available on the web: CS 50
and CS 75
from Harvard, CS 160B
from Stanford, and I've downloaded others for later. I always lose motivation partway through and just stop working or watching the lectures or anything. And these are easy courses for me! I'm trying to get back into the groove of coding with assignments that require some thought put into the coding, but aren't algorithmically or theoretically difficult. I just can't put in the work for more than a few weeks.
Fresh out of high school, I added Lua scripting to an open source game. Now, looking up the API and switching between Lua and C syntax and figuring out all the little bits sounds exhausting. I can listen to podcasts and get all excited about coding, but then I try to do it and the fun parts are buried under the tedium of being rusty at coding.
What can you suggest to change my concentration?