Danger

OK, thanks to Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel newletter, I have found a new way to expedite these blog posts.

It will be bad news for my spell and content checkers though.  The goal here is to start and never stop typing with The Most Dangerous Writing App.  It devalues spell and grammar check.  This may be just what I need.  I’ll blame my tools!

Here’s the deal.  Just set a timer for how long I’m going to take for a blog post.  I’m usually good for 20 minutes if I have a well diagrammed mind map.  Sometimes, it’s less if things are going well or the dog is impatient.  I set the timer.

And begin…

This will be a shorty.

The key though is to keep typing.  Don’t run out for another coffee and head to the kitchen or go looking for resources.  They need to be planned out in advance or…

…you lose everything.

And, of course, in today’s socially connected world, you’ll want to Tweet about it.

Normally, I do like to try to bring in an education connection to these posts but I’m struggling with this!  Where do we value speed and continuity over content and accuracy?  That’s all gone since we got rid of Grade 9 typing.

I remember my Grade 12 students having to write a simple word processor.  Maybe this could be a fun enhancement.

Or just a bit of fun to play around with for a while.

Enjoy.

3 thoughts on “Danger

  1. Good morning Doug!

    I’m intrigued by your post this morning, because it wrestles with a question that I’ve been poking around at for a while, namely, “How do the tools we use influence our thinking (flow), our work (flow), and our learning (flow)?”

    As I read your post, I was struck by the fact that the specific purpose of the tool immediately created constraints and/or questions for you about the potential end-quality of your product.

    I was pleased to see you reference the importance of your pre-writing before entering into the technology-induced black box. Clearly, that is a component of your process that is not specifically supported by this new technology, yet it is critical for good writing.

    Having explored similar technologies in the past, primarily those within which a distraction free white space is provided (newer versions of WordPress now provide this option, too), or those which lock out access to other applications and/or notifications, the common ground seems to be reinforcing a particular decision to focus on one thing, and one thing alone.

    Perhaps this app you reference is attempting to gamify the practice of flow writing, wherein the goal is not to provide finished piece of writing, but rather to get the brain flowing within the writing process such that a bunch of ideas (and sometimes some really useful turns of phrase) get dumped out — text that you can then revisit and polish?

    While I may try the app, I’m not convinced that I would ever rely on it as a tool for purposeful writing unless I had some kind of keystroke monitor or screen grab software running at the same time.

    After all, given the antecedent, I doubt ColerIdge would ever knowingly choose to hire a Person from Porlock.

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  2. What doesn’t come through in a blog post is me biting my tongue as I type, Andy. It would be difficult to come up with a serious use for the app. However, the fun might be there and most certainly an idea of your topic and its progression into final form is crucial.

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  3. I’m glad to read that you’ve played with the app. I downloaded it, too, the other day but I haven’t made time to try it yet. I’m thinking it would be good just to help me develop the habit of writing on a regular basis. Maybe I’ll give it a whirl this afternoon after I get my chores done.

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