Thursday, November 4, 2010

The popcorn challenge

Step 1. Make microwave popcorn in your microwave oven.

Step 2. Rush to your computer/notepad/whatever and write as many words as you can before the bell dings.

Step 3. Eat some popcorn and read a book.

My popcorn takes two minutes to cook, and I managed about 200 words in that time. It was surprisingly motivating: forcing myself to discard all internal squabbles and doubts in the name of sheer productivity.

And for only a minute and fifty eight seconds!

I've already moved this strategy into the general realm of my writing style. Got five minutes? Write. Got a minute? Write. And then: got an hour? Write for half of it, and play videogames the rest.

Overall, I'm actually more productive, happier, and having more fun when I'm writing this way than when I was pounding out the longer sessions. I... can't really say why this is. Especially since I'll still go for the long haul if my fingers tell me, "Yeah, alright, this is pretty cool;" but if not, I'll just whip them up to another frenzy in another ten minutes, alright?

Now, for some popcorn.



  1. Ah, I'm not too big a fan of popcorn, but glad you've found a good motivator. I think I usually work best whenever I know what I'm going to write, which can sometimes last a few minutes, sometimes a few hours when I'm lucky.

  2. I agree. I prefer when I manage to stick with it for as long as possible, but... I'm learning to take those small bursts of inspiration and work with them, also.

  3. I envy that. I'm not sure I can be productive in just a few minutes. Not unless it's those few minutes right after I remember something important I need to write down. It takes me longer than that to get into the groove. Or perhaps it's just that those "few minutes" are always right before I need to get my kid up from a nap, or right before I need to do something else, and my mind is too distracted thinking about my next responsibilities. It can be hard to let go and just WRITE.