About a year and a half ago I was talking to my friend Dave about how I always wanted to try writing short stories. Most of my ideas were science fiction, and many of those were based on dreams I had had in the past. Dave had a pretty sweet post-apocalyptic story of his own that I thought would be great on paper.
Sometimes it seems that wanting to try something just isn’t enough to make it happen. I had been hanging on to my short story ideas for years and never took the time to write anything. Typically, I would have an idea for a story, file it away in long-term memory, and then move on. This time, the idea stuck a little bit longer.
A while later Dave and I were talking about writing again and we had an idea that would give us an opportunity to actually write our stories. The idea was pretty simple: get a bunch of friends together in the same way that we would if we were hosting a LAN party, but instead of playing games, we’d write short stories and edit each others’ work.
I sat on this idea for a while. Dave moved west, but not before we both went to a novel writing seminar at GenCon last fall. More time elapsed. Somehow, deep within my subconscious, the idea evolved. I think it’s because my brain doesn’t have a back burner, just an igniter. The spark of this idea grew into a giant unbound flame. Why limit this idea to my friends? Why should we only write short stories? Why does the idea even have to be restricted to writing?
The idea started burning away at me more and more. Last winter I started to take action. I started sharing my idea and getting feedback. I started borrowing from other events that bring people together and facilitate collaboration: ShipIt Days (a.k.a. FedEx Days), local NaNoWriMo groups, conventions, conferences, even Meetups. I organized my thoughts a little bit and asked a number of people if the idea was something they might be interested in attending to make sure I should keep pursuing the idea. I set up a blog (still am, actually) to organize and structure the idea. I bought a domain name. That means I thought up a name: Product Rally.
The aforementioned hosted web site for my idea has a lot of information about the idea than I care to repeat here but the gist of it is this: Product Rally is a suite of events where people come together to make their ideas. For example, the first Product Rally will be a pilot event based on the initial idea of composing a book based on a collection of short stories written and edited by a small group of people. From there, I’d like to expand the idea out to writing software and engage multiple groups of people who will be creating independent software products.
So there you have it. I’m trying to get not just my own lazy butt in gear to create something, I’m trying to get a lot of creative people together to help each other create a lot of somethings.
If you like the idea, let me know. If you like the idea enough that you want to participate at some point, let me know. If you think it’s trash, let me know that too. Whether you like this idea or not, please try to articulate why. I’m seeking constructive feedback.
Oh, I’m also looking for help with this idea too. It will take a lot of coordination to pull this off so I want to increase my chances of success by not taking on the whole burden of this idea myself. If you’d like to help, email me!