A Conversation for Overcoming Writer's Block

Variation on the Burroughs/Bowie technique

Post 1

Just Another Number

This is a little trick I've used when trying to create a poem/song/creative prose.

I suppose it's kinda similar in spirit to the famous random cut-out technique mentioned in the Guide Entry advocated by William S. Burroughs and David Bowie.

And it's great fun and really easy!

All you do is open up the word processor application on your PC. (MicroSoft "Word" or similar.)

Then, with a blank page open, place your hands on the keyboard covering as many letter keys as possible, and start randomly hitting keys. Try closing your eyes or deliberately hitting between the keys. Try twisting your hands over and around themselves as you do this to produce unusual and varied combinations of letters.

You have to remember to avoid the numbers and function keys - but hit the space bar regularly, so that the "words" you are creating are quite short. The longest being, say, eight or nine letters long.

Then, when you've got a good few paragraphs of gobbledeegook...

Run it through the SpellChecker!

You'll be really surprised at some of the wonderful, forgotten words that get thrown up, and you'll find yourself extracting all kinds of strange, erratic meanings from your new, random poem.

Try it! It's fun!!

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Variation on the Burroughs/Bowie technique

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