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Invisible ink (a word sprint tip)

As a kid I thought invisible ink was awesome. The stuff of mystery books, to be sure, but still very cool and with its potential uses in real life. I never did get around to using physical invisible ink, but I’ve happened upon a rather funny way to utilize it in the digital space.

On the theme of “trick thyself into creativity,” here’s a tip for maximizing the effectiveness* of your word sprints: If you can’t see your words, you can’t edit them.

Instead of sticking with the defaults in the writing program you use (I happen to use Microsoft Word and OneNote), where the “ink” is usually black, set the text color to the same as the background (in my case, that would be white).

Is this disorienting? Abso-freakin-lutely. In fact, it sort of necessitates that you just keep writing, and writing, and going and going and going, because if you don’t keep moving you won’t remember what you’ve already written.

You could end up with a few repetitive lines of dialog, sure. And you could also end up with an actual, factual manuscript that you can then edit, or have someone else edit. Smile!

Grit your teeth, turn the ink invisible, and spill it onto the page.

*Word sprints are most effective when you just pour out words without stopping, and get as many of them onto the page as you can. You’ll be shocked to learn that it’s easier to edit something kind of terrible that exists than something perfect that doesn’t exist…

Published inWriting about writingWriting process