Discipline not Distraction
When successful authors are asked to give advice to budding writers, they mostly say: write, write, write. In a recent interview I watched with Jackie Collins, she was asked the same question. Her advice was to write every day, even if it’s just a few hundred words. She went on to point out that those few hundred words add up over the months and after a year a novel would have been accomplished – well, the first draft at least.
It’s not new advice and we all know it, but actually being disciplined and self-motivated enough to actually get down and do it is the challenging part.
Due to a work commitment, I had to take a five month break from writing short stories. My spare time had to focus on editing my novel and non-fiction pieces. However, since August, life has resumed some level of normality and I now have the time to write stories that have been festering in my mind for a longer period. Easy? No!
Somewhere along the way, my self-motivation and discipline have dwindled. This is a new experience for me. I have always been self-motivated, disciplined and I strongly believe that 'practice makes perfect'.
So, an action plan has been put in place to remedy my problem and thus far is working. I have committed to a scheme set up by Julie Day, a fellow teacher and blogger, and I am writing a short story every day of this month. My aim is to improve my writing discipline and regain a more productive routine. The scheme does not expect perfect stories but to get from the beginning to the end. This in itself will teach me the lesson of relinquishing the need to be perfect!
Even though it is only day two of my action plan, I am feeling better already. Being greeted early each morning by Susie the Sunflower, a ‘cheer up’ gift from my lovely husband, puts a smile on my face as I type those first words.
I would be interested to know what you do to stay disciplined.
NB: I am writing this blog post after having achieved my daily target.