Time to Pick It

Crosspost from Silk & Shadows

Currently working on: Revisions
Mood: Persnickety

I’ve been in a funny place recently. Not just a place-place as I mentioned in last Monday’s travelogue, but in my writing. I’ve been all over the map — literally and metaphorically — and it is time I settled down to ONE thing.

This is a good time of year (in this part of the world anyway) to settle to a project. The weather is closing in. School has started and focused energy is all around. Even my garden reflects the need to pick. It’s harvest time!

But how do I pick my next project?

1. Flip a coin.

I’m not being flip when I say this. I find that flipping a coin helps me refine my preferences. If I flip and the answer comes up that I want, sweet. If the coin says I should choose some other thing… well, suddenly I realize that thing isn’t the thing I wanted. So I switch. After all, I don’t have to abide by the decisions of a coin.

2. Try a few things on for size.

Like new school clothes, the right story need to fit me this year; not have too many holes; and reflect the writer I’m trying to become. And if it is purple and sparkly, that’d be cool too.

3. Ask my sounding board.

Sometimes I can’t decide. But when I talk out my options with someone else, often I start talking myself into a choice, even if my listener never gets a chance to speak. (That happens around me occasionally.) Even if I can’t hear an answer coming into focus, the other person will no doubt have an opinion (other people always do). I guess this technique is very similar to the first technique except most people don’t appreciate being flipped.

If you haven’t read Malcolm Gladwell’s BLINK, I highly recommend it. He talks a lot about the power of instinct in decision making. Then you can read THINK by Michael R. LeGault, who prefers a more rationed approach. They provide some interesting points/counterpoints. Do you have favorite ways of making choices?

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