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Something that may help is think of a simple problem you have day to day where something you might do by pencil and paper could be replaced by a program.

This gives you a relatively simple problem with a fairly known solution that just needs a level of automation. Keep in mind this doesn't need to be the next MS Word/WordPad/NotePad; just something that solves your (simple) problem.

For example a problem that I keep reimplementing when working with a new language is a simple timekeeper app. The app is used to track billable hours to different projects during a day. A fairly simple program with lots of little gotchas, like how do you handle reboots in the middle of the day or how do you add/remove items from your list.