My obsession with pixel puzzles (and how that relates to my new project)


So, I'm mildly addicted to Pixel Puzzles. Scratch that. I'm very addicted to them. It's probably not a bad thing. My previous addiction was to scrolling down Facebook, and puzzles are definitely better for my brain than constant social media skimming, so I figure I'm winning.

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Have you seen Pixel Puzzles? They look like a simple grid of squares with lines of numbers on two sides. The idea is to colour in some squares, but not others, so that when you're done, you've created a pixelated picture. The trick, though, is knowing exactly which squares you can colour in, and which you have to leave blank. It involves counting and logic and finding clues in what you've already done.

My kids don't understand pixel puzzles. My husband doesn't either. Occasionally they'll get curious and come over with the intention of finding out once and for all exactly what I am doing with my pencil and my little puzzle book.

"How do you do it, Mum?" they ask. "How does it work?"

I flip to the easiest and smallest puzzle in the book and begin to explain, and their faces go blank in dismay. "It's okay, Mum," they say.

The elegance of pixel puzzles and how they work constantly makes me happy. There is no possible way to solve this part of the puzzle, if you have not already solved that part. Every step you take, every square you colour, is only made possible by building on what you've already solved. And if you're patient, and assiduous at looking for the opportunities, and meticulous with your counting, it all comes together.

I like the parallels to my current project.

For just under a year I've been working on making a Memoir Writing course I co-authored several years ago, into an online course. It's been quite a beast to envision, and to design and create and write and record and upload and test... and *finally* after months of work, the first part of the course is ready. 

Creating something like this is a bit of a job. There are lots of moving parts and connections. It's important to design and connect everything properly so it works first time. And it's important to know what needs to be done first. If you do step 37 before you've done steps 1 through 36, step 37 will fail. It'll need to be done all over again.

But, if you're patient, and assiduous, and meticulous, in the end, a project like this can come together. Yes, it takes a while, but in the end, you have a beautiful picture that makes all the work you've done worthwhile.

Give pixel puzzles a go - they're great. (And easier than crosswords and Sudoku in my humble opinion.)

Oh, and if you're interested in writing your memoir - or you know someone who is, you can check out my course here.