We’re pleased to present a guest post from Joan Selby, about gamification and how it can kickstart your creativity if you’re in a rut.
Gamification is a huge buzzword in education. By making the process of learning into a game, students don’t even realize that they’re’re studying while having fun.
But can this concept be translated into writing?
If you’re a writer, then you understand the exhaustion, frustration, and anxiety that come as part and parcel of your profession.
“You stay at home all day and just write” may sound like a dream job for some, but after spending months and years in the same position on the couch, it can become your biggest nightmare. Perhaps you suddenly find yourself staring at a blank page for hours, not knowing where to start.
Or perhaps you find it hard to concentrate with all the deadlines and pressures mounting…
Well,, if a game can break the dry spell Then why not take advantage?
Personally, I found that ‘gamification’ can add a great deal of freshness and fun to writing..
Here are seven online resources that Can help you gamify your writing.
This tool asks you to create personal and professional goals, and then it treats them like a role-playing game..
Your goal is to develop good habits by defeating the monsters of distractions. You lose health if you miss a daily goal, and you unlock new levels when you stay productive.
You’ll be getting punishments and rewards as encouragement. I found the social networking aspect really fun. This is an entire community that can inspire you to work harder.
Among all to-do apps I’ve used, this was the first one that seemed actually fun. It has a clever, visually-intriguing interface. You’ll see your goals represented as a large pie chart based on priorities. The slider allows you to track your goals, so you’ll get an idea of the progress you’re making and the amount of work you have to do until you’re done with a project.
The point behind this app is pretty interesting: mindfulness. We often relate our goals with the way we see ourselves in future, so we focus on something that’s yet to happen. However, it takes mindfulness in the present moment for us to become successful at achieving those goals. That’s exactly what Goalscape encourages us to do: stay in the present.
I didn’t realize how big of a distraction MS Word was until I substituted it with a much more effective text editor. Ilys gets rid of all those unnecessary features and icons. I can see my text on a full screen, so I stay focused.
Where’s the game in that, I hear you ask? Well, the tool doesn’t allow you to make any edits to the text while you’re writing. You’ll set a word-count goal, and you’ll have to keep writing until you reach it. You see only the last letter you typed, so you have to focus; otherwise you’ll have no idea where you stopped and how you should continue.
Ilys transformed my usual writing process.
“Set some goals. Keep track of your achievements. Meet those goals!”
Does that sounds familiar? As a writer, you may make lists of monthly, weekly, and daily goals. It’s necessary, but it’s not always fun. Do you know what makes it interesting? A bet!
Don’t worry; it’s not as scary as it sounds.
Beeminder uses monetary incentives to help you stay on track with your goals. If you don’t make it, you pledge money that will encourage you to keep going. If you fail again, the service will take that money. Talk about putting your money where your mouth is!
This is my favourite writing game. It’s an unforgiving concept: the app will start deleting your work if you don’t meet the word count goal you set within a given period of time. There are three modes you can play with: Reward, Consequence, and Stimulus.
Obviously, the Reward mode gives you a reward for your hard work. You’ll get soothing sounds of bells or cute photos of puppies. That’s not nearly as fun as the Consequence mode, which punishes you with loud alarm noises, ugly spiders, and other awful things when you slip. The Stimuli mode encourages you to stay focused and productive by adjusting the audio-visual elements of the interface.
I don’t use this tool too often, but it’s still worth mentioning in a list of tools that gamify the writing process. It looks pretty simple: you get blank space where you’ll write your text. After every 100 words you write, you’ll get a reward: a photo of a cute little kitten. Once you’re done melting over the cuteness, you’ll continue writing to get another photo.
If the goal of 100 words is too easy for you, you can set the tool to give you the encouragement after 500 or 1000 words.
“You come to find out that every time you die, you wake up 10 days in the past with all your memories intact. After a few deaths you start abusing this newfound power of yours.”
That’s only one of the many prompts available on one of the most popular websites in the world.
Reddit had loads of threads that are great for getting inspiration for writing.
Reddit users post great poems and stories, and you can become part of that community. You’ll be getting instant feedback, so you’ll keep getting better.
Another bonus is that you can be completely anonymous. I found that the mask of anonymity allowed me to be a brave writer. I can write anything on Reddit, without being afraid someone might criticize it. I can be myself. Or someone else…
Joan Selby is a former ESL teacher and a content marketer at Essayontime. She also runs her own blog about social media and writing tips. Joan is a Creative Writing graduate and fancy shoelover. A writer by day and reader by night, giving creative touch to everything. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.