Friday, November 02, 2007

Oblique Strategies

You know how sometimes when you are trying to write you hit a wall--the famous "writer's block." I don't know how I actually got to this website, but I found these cards which are supposed to get you to think differently, change direction, break through the block by offering truly oblique, and often enigmatic, directions or allusions. Even if they don't seem relevant, the writer is supposed to try them. It is kind of like opening the Bible, or one's own sacred text, and reading a random passage when having to make a decision. It breaks the old, stale train of thought and offers new insight [and verifies that one can read almost anything into a particular text.] However it works, it may be useful to all those trying to write termpapers or articles or books and get stuck in the clich├ęd.

Download the new editionfrom this webpage. Print them. Cut them into cards. Choose one. Viola, brilliance will emerge from your pen or brush!



"The deck itself had its origins in the discovery by Brian Eno that both he and his friend Peter Schmidt (a British painter whose works grace the cover of "Evening Star" and whose watercolours decorated the back LP cover of Eno's "Before and After Science" and also appeared as full-size prints in a small number of the original reeases) tended to keep a set of basic working principles which guided them through the kinds of moments of pressure - either working through a heavy painting session or watching the clock tick while you're running up a big buck studio bill. Both Schmidt and Eno realized that the pressures of time tended to steer them away from the ways of thinking they found most productive when the pressure was off. The Strategies were, then, a way to remind themselves of those habits of thinking - to jog the mind." from this webpage

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