Tuesday, March 14, 2006

unblocking: switching (writing) perspectives

In the course of exploring the Performancing site this evening, I came upon a post there on the topic of changing your writing perspective. Ostensibly, the author's goal was to improve productivity, but I think that there are many good reasons to regularly and purposefully reorient your writing perspective beyond simply wanting to get over a writer's block and churn out more blog posts.

If you've ever watched a new team member lose their "fresh eyes" over time as they become indoctrinated into the broader team's point of view, then you know what I'm talking about. Fresh perspective is an asset, not a disruptive liability, and it needs to be cultivated like an asset.

So - for breaking through/out/beyond the group-think and/or unplugging your writer's block:

I am a big fan of Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies - but like many powerful tools, it punishes the impatient and unimaginative. Best to use it sparingly. But if you can't wait. . .visit here and indulge yourself in the entire list. Don't blame me if you're disappointed. You're the one who didn't play by the rules.

Another idea for re-orienting your writing perspective is to detach yourself from your normal point-of-view - yes, that's axiomatic, but hang with me here.

Exampli gratia 1: If your normal PoV is writing like a technology wonk, try writing like you were talking to your auld granny who doesn't know technology but knows you and is interested in hearing about why you like technology.

Exampli gratia 2: If your normal PoV is writing compare and contrast pieces with the sharp tools of cool reason, try writing like you are oblivious to any alternative world view on a given topic - be an unrepentant zealot, a wild-haired fanboy.

And if these fail, I've found standing on your head works too. There is a reason why kids like to roll down hills and get dizzy. It shakes up the world like a snowglobe, and makes everything brand new. Don't do it down the stairs.

(Graphic: Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion World Map)

1 comment:

Camie Vog said...

Was Buckminster a quilter in the closet?