I recently participated in a writing workshop supported by the Royal Literary Fund. The workshop focused on writing practice and techniques to help with writing in academic practice. One such techniques is known as 'freewriting'.
Freewriting can be used as a formal or informal technique to get short, concise ideas on to paper. More commonly used as a pre-writing task, it can also be used for those times when you're getting stuck mid-writing. Think of it as a "jam" for writing: a process constrained by time, aimed at stimulating creativity and overcome mental obstacles. In this case, the content produced is secondary to the process: it will be very rare to produce the works of Shakespeare from a single, isolated freewriting task!
Personally, this wasn't a new phenomena to me, : the previous writing workshops I'd attended preached the message of freewriting for getting past "writer's block" and self-apathy. It can help to make writing feel more natural for those who struggle with that formidable blank screen. But most workshops expect you to "do" without any constraints: I find the instruction "write for five minutes on anything you want" more challenging than "write for five minutes on x topic." I felt so positive from this experience in the workshop that I wanted to try something for Games for Studies.
Announcing, the Five-Minute Freewrite! (Or, FMF for short.)
The rules are:
Highlight a problem or topic, set a timer for five minutes, and write.
The problem should focus on a games-related topic: whether it's based on work you're doing at the moment, a social issue, or a question you want answered. Games for Studies will provide an example topic each month (at the bottom of the page): feel free to follow it, or to write to your own problem!
You can write this physically or type, it's entirely up to you.
All I ask is that you send me what you've written to be shown on the Games for Studies website. There are no length/word limits or peer-reviews: it's a bit of fun (that, hopefully, will stimulate discussion)!
Once five minutes are over, stop.
Stop mid-sentence; stop mid-word. Think about this as prototyping a discussion. Don't be too focused on spelling and grammar as you write: it's an unwanted distraction!
All posts will be made anonymously by default.
I appreciate that sharing rough work may be intimidating for some, and I don't want that to be a barrier for participation (conversely, if you want to waive anonymity, let me know!)
Deadlines for FMF will be the final day of every month.
Any submissions past the deadline date will be carried forward to the next publication of FMF!
Submissions will be published on the 5th of the next month, every month.
All submissions should be sent to Andrew.Reid@GCU.ac.uk with the subject heading "FMF Submission".
FMF is open to everyone, irrespective of your background: whether you're in games or not; whether you're a veteran or a student of your practice; whether you write daily or have not written in years. FMF wants to be an inclusive, non-judgmental interaction across community borders.