The Index Card Trick

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Sylvia Plath. I wrote one of the best jokes of my life to accompany this quote, but due to the nature of her death, I can’t risk demonstrating how tone-deaf I am.

I’m infamous for carrying index cards everywhere. To jot down thoughts, draw/doodle, note reminders, pranks, or actual important messages.

I’ve always known that messages on index cards carry weight, but recently I’ve been practicing and refining my delivery. It’s led to some hilarious and amusing results: most people just believe whatever you’re reading from an index card, even if I’m looking at a blank card or one that has nothing to do with whatever I’m saying.

Psychologically, if it appears you’re reading something off an index card, people will be more gullible about its alleged contents. It’s evocative of the Uniform Effect.

You can use this to your advantage, whether it is to make up a fake phone message, statistic, reminder, or important information.

Just telling them somehow lessens the credibility compared to “reading” it from an index card. People don’t just write crazy stuff on index cards, do they?

Love, X

“I’m writing my book in fifth person, so every sentence starts out with: “I heard from this guy who told somebody …” Demetri Martin

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