Pants. I put them on every weekday.

Stendhal famously formulated this maxim: twenty lines a day, genius or not. I’ve decided to adapt the method to my own professional writing. Partially because my creative background is heavily rooted in OuLiPo’s procedural generation of literature–I  co-authored a piece with Adam Vine using Matthew’s Algorithm and have tattoos based on scenes from Perec’s and Calvino’s novels; I’m sort of an OuLiPo geek.  Partially because my Marketing Director is extraordinarily disappointed in my (lack of) content production (sorry, Mr. Choate). Mostly because I believe in cadence and structure as creative cure-alls.

Rulesets generally need adapted to specific circumstances. The blind adoption of process is how you wind up with Cargo Cult style interpretations of Agile. As an aside, one of the great ironies of contemporary software development is the (unfortunately frequent) destructively rigid implementation of a development methodology named for flexibility. 

So. My version. Lines are a variable metric; words are a constant metric. The average person reads around 250 words per minute. I feel comfortable asking people for a minute of their time, so we’ll go with that. After years of watching smart people do stupid things, I’m not sure what “genius” means anymore, so we’ll skip that. Nor will I limit myself to topics in design or development. I’ve generally found that lateral thinking can result in surprising insights. So, in final formulation: 250ish words a day, relevant or not

Matthew Jewell

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