Aug 05 2008

further writing nerdiness

Published by at 5:27 pm under silliness,Writing

Often, when I’m not writing as much or as frequently as I’d prefer to be, I think up new systems or patterns to try to kick-start more writing. Occasionally they’re in complete seriousness, but more often they are light-hearted, an attempt to laugh myself (or laugh at myself) into workfulness. Even my catwaxing isn’t entirely frivolous, which apparently according to some writers means I’m not really waxing the cat. Ahh well. To view my latest geeky foray, read on!

This system is designed to address the needs of a specific writing phase. Obviously, if I wake up and know what I want to write that day, then the decision of what to write is rather made. Ditto for waking up knowing you need to take a day off. (A day what?) However, this system is designed to answer the question of what to write when you have the vague itch to write something, but no blinding inspiration is moving you toward an individual project. Those of you gamer geeks may have already guessed what’s coming…

You decide that this time, you’ll get the dice involved.

First, make a numbered list all of your current projects and works-in-progress. (Obviously, those of you that only work on one project at a time won’t really need any of this, as the decision is inherent in the choice.) Here, I’ll give my own example:

  1. Novel-in-progress
  2. collaborative project, non-fiction-ish
  3. collaborative project, fiction
  4. Elliot’s story
  5. the twins’ story
  6. business model paper
  7. Arse Elektronika paper
  8. revise tabled story drafts

So from the list above: whenever I’m feeling the edgy urge to write, but whining internally about not knowing what I want to work on, I’d select an 8-sided die and roll it.

Rules of the game: You’re allowed one re-roll per writing session (the time between catwaxing); if you reject a rolled option more than three times in one week you might want to consider whether it belongs on the list for now; anytime you work on any point you have the option to shuffle the numbering; anytime you complete a list point you can reward yourself as desired before adding the next project (or, if you’re trying to downsize, find some way to reward yourself anytime you drop down a die size, like from 8-sided to 6-sided). If you roll and decide that no, you actually want to work on a different option instead, inspiration trumps randomization: go with what you want to write. If you don’t like any of your list options, write a different list before rolling.

So far this week I’ve done work on 2, 3, and 6.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “further writing nerdiness”

  1. Kit OConnellon 05 Aug 2008 at 5:29 pm

    I’d love to see you try this out for real. I’ll remind you of it next time you don’t seem to know what to write.

    I like working on new writing systems but I’d like to revive the old ones that worked too — maybe we can put the posterboard back up soon now that we’ve rearranged the study/living room.

  2. […] you can add another dice roll: the first to decide which project you work on, as referenced in the previous entry, and the next roll to determine how many (units of measurement) you spend on your project before […]