Eleven Tips for Priming Your Creativity

Here are several ways to fuel creative infernos:

“Get five rejections in a day. This is an output goal. I hope to have enough manuscripts out that I hear from five publishers in one day. Making rejection a goal also takes some of the sting out of it.”
  —Carolyn Cutler

“I work crossword puzzles to get the brain revved up.”
  —Larry L. King

“To keep writing talents strong and sharp, nourish the space where they came from. . . . See fine art, hear soothing music, taste wonderful foods, touch fantastic texture or smell exotic aromas.”
  —Joyce Locking

“Writing is like being in love. You never get better at it or learn more about it. . . . You don’t have to worry about learning things. The fire of one’s art burns all the impurities from the vessel that contains it.”
  —James Lee Burke

“Write a poem a month. This is an output goal that will result in a large project ultimately.”
  —Carolyn Cutler

“Imagine you are a tourist in your own life this week.”
  —Sheila Bender

“I love to go hiking in the mountains or the desert — and I dictate while I walk. I find the scenic grandeur very inspiring.”
  —Kevin J. Anderson

“Give yourself artificial deadlines. Tell yourself, ‘I will mail this story by April 3’ (or May 14, or Aug. 8). Tell everyone else, too: fellow workshop participants, your spouse, your mother, your kids. Ask them to ask you whether the story’s gone out. Make it such a big deal that you must finish polishing or you’ll feel like the biggest fool in the world.”
  —Nancy Kress

“In the last moment before waking, in that fuzzy limbo between conscious and subconscious dreaming, I fix on the day’s work ahead — a line, a scene, a chapter. I let it play in my mind, see where it goes, what it shows me. Then I go straight to my desk and start writing.”
  —John Morgan Wilson

“I never finish work for the day. I stop working in mid paragraph or mid sentence, so that I don’t have to face a black screen in the morning.”
  —Malcolm McConnell

“Don’t wait.”
  —Daniel Quinn

For scores of such tips, check out the Writer’s Digest Guide to Creativity.

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