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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Jump Start

At the beginning of a major project you'll need to spend a full day just doing as much as possible on it. Open up a blank word document and write the title page, a table of contents, some notes for the acknowledgements, the first sentence of a preface. Then just write notes for any aspect of the book that you have ideas for. Put in bibliographical items in the proper format. Basically, you have one document that is your entire book in germinative form. You can return any time, any place to this document and add stuff to it. You will always have a sentence to re-write, or an idea to jot down in rough form. Just always be working on this project.

If you wait until you have abundant time, like a vacation, you will get less done than if you had always been working on it, because the first day of your abundant time will simply be a continuation of ongoing work. That is why I did my jump start on my current project during the busiest time of the semester.


Vance Maverick said...

This was a part of my last composition teacher's routine too. During the academic year, he was busy enough with the Conservatory and the Symphony (he was a violinist) that he couldn't get any composition done. But he set aside one day a week for composition anyway; he would open up the projects (folders or notebooks, I suppose), make notes, sketch ideas, etc. He didn't expect to make progress, in the sense of minutes of music completed, but he did find that he would begin the summer full of ideas and ready to execute them.

By the way, is there something strange about this comment box? I can't use the arrow keys to navigate in it, nor can I enter more than two consecutive spaces (an old habit that's meaningless, but should be harmless, in the age of HTML).

Vance Maverick said...

More than one, I mean.

Jonathan said...

Not sure what is up with the comment box. For me the arrow keys work fine... I'm testing to see whether I can do
multiple spaces.

Vance Maverick said...

Seems to be a Firefox issue -- works normally in IE and Chrome.