I did another simple project, this time I didn't follow the diagram perfectly. I thought I knew enough about the underlying connections of the breadboard that I could just wing it. Turns out I was wrong. But I eventually figured out what I'd gotten wrong and fixed it. That makes me incredibly happy.
Something I've been thinking about lately: I feel smarter when I make mistakes and fix them myself than when I just get things right the first time. It would be frustrating if everything was a mistake, but that rush that comes from figuring out what the problem is? Delicious~
It's irrational, I know, but when I already know how to do something correctly it... just feels easy. Obvious. Everyone knows it duh. Start from a blank slate, anyone can get it working perfectly if they just follow the directions exactly. But once there's a mistake on the table, ahh first there's identifying the mistake. Second there's fixing it. Chances are, no one's breaking it in exactly the same way. Recovering from that mistake: that feels like something of my own, whereas the original instructions might not.
ETA: Just remembered something: This all assumes that I have some sort of space where it's fine to make mistakes, though! Either somewhere private, or somewhere nonjudgemental to newbies making mistakes ;) Which is why I'm doing this in my room, not trying to find out if there are electronics related hobby groups in the area.