I've always been a fan of conditional writing. Conceptually, you pick a set of circumstances by which you must execute, and no matter what, all that's written is done under those rules. So, in favor of that. I'm going to write a novel, I've decided. The rules of the book are as follows. It must be written outside, on my laptop, and I have to write as long as my battery lasts. That means 50 minute chunks of thick prose. No genre requirements, although something slighly less self-involved then my usual prose is probably a worthwhile endeavor.
I wrote a few screenplays this way back in the day. One's rules were as follows.
1) Something my parents would like. 2) Must be written in under two weeks. 3) Must have an actual story.
The screenplay turned out as one of those BBC-style movies from the 90's. The Full Monty, Waking Ned Devine, etc. Not really a great piece of art, but a cute story with enough edge that 20 somethings wouldn't be horrified by it (Billy Elliot anyone?)
Anyways, I think that finding sort of unique ways to force yourself to write outside the normal genres and literary ticks of your standard style is just about the best thing you can do as a writer. Shit, if it wasn't for exercises like this, I'd still be writing my self-indulgent surrealist genre stuff. Now I'm writing Zombies and Russian mobsters.
Oh how far I've come.