Work in Progress Limits

Y'all, I can't help but use the tools of my software developer life to organize my writing life. It's weird but it works for me.  I'm sorry I don't just wander the forest with a pencil and a notebook like a proper poet.

At work I've been trying to improve our work processes so some agile scrumbans have been running around in my head.  It occurred to me that I could (and perhaps SHOULD) put a work-in-progress limit on my writing. 

Why a work-in-progress limit? Because it gets more work to completion. Instead of having a dozen half-finished projects, I have 8 ideas, 2 in progress, and 2 completed.  

Are there downsides to this kind of rigid work mode as a creative? Yes. I worried that I would lose interest in my projects, or that it wasn't going to give me the freedom to do the work I wanted. But my writing time is so limited that I don't want to spend it waffling over which project to take up today. I want to sit down and begin work.

I've thought several times about ways the system could be more perfect: I could have multiple stages of work (Idea, In Progress, On Hold, ...) I could have a separate WIP limit for admin tasks and creative tasks. I could have a Trello board! But none of these ideas are worth the time of implementing them. The only person I have to collaborate with is my inner brain weasel and I think the brain weasel wins the minute I start overengineering my process. 

An unanticipated benefit: I'm spending more time in the world of The Neighborhood (that's the working title of my Twine game).  Which means I'm thinking about it more when I'm not writing. Which makes it easier to stay motivated and get work done.  I didn't even need a time-limited artistic challenge this time. 

Blog Section: 


Hey! It would be useful to know what you're interested in. So vote for what you like!