Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Speed Writing

Speed Dating is a relatively new phenomenon, consisting of a bunch of single(?) people getting together somewhere public and rapidly moving from prospective partner to prospective partner, talking to each other for somewhere between 30 seconds and 5 minutes (I have no knowledge of what time limit is ideal, as I've been married longer than many of you have lived on the earth).

At the end of the Speed Dating "session," participants get to request numbers of those people who made an impression on them. If both participants request each other, then a connection is made. If both don't, there's no really uncomfortable moment when anyone has to reject the other, for no commitment has been made. Supposedly, it's a great way to meet lots of people and reject most of them in a very short amount of time.

As most of you know, I've been in writing limbo, drifting around without attaching myself to any of my writing projects. Do I want to write another veggie book for children? Revise one of my three novels? Work on my Oxford play? Write a ten-minute comedy? You see, it isn't that I don't have any ideas... it's like a filthy house: where does one start cleaning?

I've decided to play my own sort of game: Speed Writing. I'll set up six different writing projects on my computer--the three novels, the Oxford play, a blank screen for the ten-minute, and another document with several veggies listed (cabbage is next, I think)--and I'll spend ten minutes with each of them.

At the end of ten minutes, whether I enjoyed working on the project or not, I'll switch to the next. At the end of an hour, I'll have tried them all, and I might have discovered the one I want most to work on. More than likely I'll be down to two, and I'll spend a longer date--30 minutes--on each one to figure out which will be my "steady date" for a while.

I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow. I've never tried anything like this before. Have you? Do you have six (or more) projects that could use some doing? Might this work in other activities, like painting, sewing, etc.? What do you think?


  1. I don't do that exactly (I'm not that structured) but I often go back and reread novels in progress that have been languishing when I'm not sure what I'm ready to work on. Since my subconscious does all the good stuff, I often find myself driven to write on whichever one my brain has been working on without tell me.

    Given that I don't know anyone with the same sort of insanity I have, I can't recommend my own process to anyone else.

  2. Speed writing doesn't work for me... best of luck.

  3. 7 novels, 3000 pieces of poetry, 43 short stories, 26 essays and about 100 half ideas ready for development. Yeah I have plenty of things that need work but except for the novels I rarely go for a second date with the rest of it.

    Will your speed dating thing work? *shrug* You might find your soul mate that you have over looked. Just when you close it out after the date is done what file you put it in. {;-]}

  4. add the word remember in there somewhere

  5. Stephanie: Not sure I'd call what you do insanity... sounds good to me!

    Jeff: I understand. I won't be sure if it works for me until I do it.

    Walking Man: I'm a revisiter. I don't act like a packrat around the house, but I don't throw ANY of my writings out, even when I should. So much of what I do comes back in great ways, even if the original form itself is never worth reading. I do tend to leave stuff in files somewhere, though. Very frustrating.

  6. Shakes I threw everything away for thirty years. Now I throw nothing away.

  7. This is an interesting idea!

    I don't think I could do that, though. I'm already a bit schizophrenic when I write anyway, LOL. If I kept switching from project to project, I really wouldn't get anything done!