Friday, May 20, 2011

Racking Tips

Science daily #1

It's been two weeks now since I started my internship, and the experiments I'm running allows for a lot of downtime.

If any of you have watched TV shows with *real* (hahahaha) science such as, let's say, CSI*, you've probably seen scientists put pipettes in the plastic little buggers in that picture (or any bigger, more colourful variant of these).

These are plastic tips. To the great dismay of scientists worldwide, they don't come with the box. You have to put all 96 plastic tips in the rack and then sterilise them before you can use them.

The kind of mindless, menial task nobody wants to do.

What does this have to do with writing? Well, your mind might have lit up at the word menial or mindless. Not that writing is either. It's been said before, however, that such tasks are great for writing.

I'm not sure what about the small, repetitive physical tasks frees the mind to go elsewhere, but it works wonders. Your imagination shifts into high gears and speeds away, running down new paths.

The folks at my lab don't understand why I love racking tips so much. If they saw how much I've managed to unravel and decide about one of my writing project, though, they would.

Try it next time you're stuck! Find some dishes to wash, a room to clean or clothes to fold, and you might find your writer's block isn't as big as you thought!

*It should be said that I watch and like CSI. It's okay if they take a hour to do something that might require 3-4 days. I don't mind. It's fun nonetheless.


  1. I find a good shower helps work out the details.

  2. Showering, dishes, gardening...all great auto-pilot tasks that help free the mind to be creative. That's great you found an internship with built-in writing time, lol.

  3. cookie: Definitely. Shower isn't menial work, but the relaxation brings pretty much the same result. :)

    LG: It's awesome, I know! I feel so lucky to have all this newfound time for writing and reading.

  4. Data entry into spread sheets is a good "writing" tool for me. But if I really feel stuck and need to figure it out, I don my head phones and go for a walk. That way I can talk to myself out loud and people think I'm just singing along. :)

  5. I'd like to say this works for me, but menial tasks make me sleepy. (I'm weird.)

  6. TL: I'm a big fan of walking, too, especially with music. I can take hours-long walk when I'm really stuck.