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Do you write in a lab or a factory?

I’ve always called my writing space, my “writing room.” This room is where I have three bookshelves crammed with books, my table with my computer and office supplies, and my chair and file cabinet. But inspired by this post from Seth Godin, I’ve decided to call my writing room my “writing lab.”

We work either at a lab or a factory, Godin says. People who work in labs are searching for breakthroughs at the risk of making mistakes because making failures helps us learn what works, he says.

Factories are all about churning things out – Twinkies, car parts, widgets – in the most efficient possible way.

“To work in the lab is to embrace the idea that what you’re working on might not work. Not to merely tolerate this feeling, but to seek it out,” says Godin.

As writers, we have to welcome failure in the form of crappy drafts. We have to play around with words and sentences — experiment to see what works. We have to try and fail and try again. This is why I now write in my lab.

Read Godin’s post and then decide where you work: A lab or a factory?

Photo of inventor Thomas Edison courtesy of Wikipedia.

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. I think when i write my poems it is a factory, I let the flow of words take control and spend little time editing my work. When writing novel ideas however I write in a lab and try and keep in mind that my ideas may not work out. Love this post 🙂

    June 24, 2013
  2. After reading the linked article I realize that I don’t work in a factory for I do not write for profit at all and I don’t care about how long each poem takes, they can take a few days or mere minuets. Wish I had read the linked article before commenting 😦

    June 24, 2013
    • I understand what you mean. You approach it as an experiment and go with the flow 🙂

      June 24, 2013
      • exactly 🙂

        June 24, 2013
  3. I would be inclined to call mine a lab, if only because I have next to no chance of churning writing out! That would get in the way of my procrastination…

    June 24, 2013

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