“And what’s written on this one?”
“Oh, the Hemingway idea! Okay so, imagine if we had Hemingway’s face on the app, helping writers who sign up set goals for themselves? How awesome would that be?”
The above happened during one our team brainstorm sessions. ‘Hemingway’ was written on a post-it note.
The idea to have famous author personas coach your writing came from a verbal experiment we did and then prototyped in the past few weeks. We were looking to see if it was effective to have writers set their overall writing goal, work backwards from that point, and break it down to bite-sized chunks. It really resonated with the writers who participated in the experiment!
I had verbally walked people through this process. But one of the reasons it hooked people, we knew, was the human element of having someone asking you the questions in person. The back and forth conversation, the human affirmation, and the personalized suggestions helped each writer lay out an actionable roadmap for their project.
This is where the Hemingway idea came from. How can we further humanize this process?
At TheRightMargin, we believe in testing concepts early and often, with real people. And we want to do this with the ‘favorite author’ concept.
But although Ernest Hemingway may work for some folks, how can we select different authors we could use to fairly represent writers we think we can help?
I guess we could start by writing a fun, interactive blog post about it…
So. If you have a few minutes, please share!
- Who’s your favorite author?
- Imagine you saw this person’s face on your computer or mobile screen, asking you to think about your writing goals. What would you feel, in a word?
- How important is it to you to have daily or weekly writing goals?
And to get the not-literal ball rolling, here are some answers from our team:
Our CEO, Shivani Bhargava:
- Gahh… this is hard. It’s either Italo Calvino or Patricia C. Wrede. Okay, let’s go with Patricia.
- Excited! Also, I’d probably want to buy her coffee and talk about dragons.
- Very important! When I don’t have goals, I don’t find time to write at all. To me, setting goals and breaking them down to something doable makes it more likely to happen and when I do, I feel happy and accomplished (and am more likely to write more!).
Our UX Designer, Christine Lee:
- But if I choose a favorite I’ll hurt the feelings of all my other favorite authors! (It’ll be okay John Irving.) I’m really feeling Kevin Kwan’s books these days so shout-out to him.
- I think I’d need a placard below his face to tell me he’s Kevin Kwan because I don’t know what he looks like off the bat… but I’d be pleasantly surprised that such a contemporary author was included. Oh, and interested to see if his dynamism and wit via his writing translated into his remarks to me through the screen.
- I need goals for everything… like for running, I don’t run unless I have something to train for. So very important, for weekly goals.
Our UX Engineer, Art Klepchukov:
- F. Scott Fitzgerald (classic fiction), Lauren Groff (modern fiction), Rebecca Solnit (nonfiction)
- I don’t thrive with daily or weekly writing goals. I have goals for each writing project that aren’t usually tied to time. I meet or revise them at my own pace.
Tell us your answers and we’ll put your name in a raffle to get one of these: