Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tip O'Day #26

This guest post is from Jessica Knauss who says, "Don’t wait for inspiration."

I consider myself a pretty low output writer, and my life is full of distractions. I also have a nasty habit of waiting for "inspiration" before I start writing, so you can imagine how little that would take place.

I did very well with some of the structural elements of school, so, considering that I never missed a deadline, I began to construct deadlines for myself: Finish this project by the end of the month, outline this other one for next week, etc. Deadlines that come relatively soon are more effective than ones that seem far away, like "the end of the year." Since doing this, I've accomplished one hundred percent more than I would have otherwise.

An additional tip: it helps if the deadlines have some relation to the real world, such as submitting a piece to a market before an actual deadline, or even, if the goal isn't accomplished, then I can't enjoy some reward.

Writer, poet and acquisition/editorial associate Jessica Knauss blogs at jessicaknauss.blogspot.com

Dixon's comment on this topic: “You can’t wait for inspiration; you have to go after it with a club.” - Jack London

1 comment:

  1. I think it was Andy Rooney who said "When I have a deadline, I sit down and damn well decide to have an idea."
    Does the negative reinforcement (being unable to enjoy some reward) have the same effect as granting yourself a reward if you're successful?