This is the fourth and final week of our Daily Discipline for Writers series. We’ve shared a lot of good information and tips on developing discipline in your daily writing. This week, we’ll tie it all together.
If you missed any of the previous posts in this series, you can read them here:
Self discipline can be boiled down to this simple thought:
People who are successful have chosen to do the hard things that move their careers forward; unsuccessful people do the easy things day-to-day even though those things do nothing to move their careers forward or improve their lives.
As we’ve already discussed, self-discipline begins with a mindset. “Should you work on your novel today?” versus “how do you work on your novel today?” It involves identifying the parts of each day or week that are not available for writing and finding ways to make the most of the time that’s available for writing. For many of us, it also means finding ways to make more time available for writing. It’s not easy to give up enjoyable activities, but for a lot of us, that choice must be made.
What we haven’t talked about yet is the most important part of daily discipline. That is our topic for today. What is it?
Keep After It
You see, self-discipline isn’t a one-time decision. It’s not a choice you make once and don’t ever have to make again. You will have to choose between doing the easy thing and the hard thing every day for the rest of your life.
In fact, if you’re anything like me, there will be days when you have to make that decision every hour of the day.
Practice What I’m Preaching
I know a lot of you are planning on doing National Novel Writing Month in November.
I also know from past experience that getting started isn’t usually a problem. The problem comes after you’ve started. There’s a reason roughly 14% of all writers who begin actually finish. It’s hard work! 30 days of it!
If you want to be among that 14%, you will need to exercise self-discipline every day. Be aware how you approach writing during November. If you’re serious (and I hope you are), get into the habit of asking yourself how you can make time to write each day instead of asking whether or not you should write.
Is it more important to watch your favorite program even if you get behind on word count? Or is maintaining the pace and getting closer to finishing your novel more important than an hour of televised make-believe?
There will be such choices every day. Choices that give you the opportunity to succeed or fail. The difference? Self-discipline. Doing what you may not want to do now in order to accomplish later something you want to accomplish.
The choice is yours.
A Last Minute Recommendation
If you want the rest of the story, beg, borrow, or buy a copy of Rory Vaden’s Take The Stairs. It’s a fast and easy read and would be the ideal last-minute preparation for NaNoWriMo.
Or for just getting started on the rest of your writing life.
The best way I can tie all this information together is to remind you of one of my favorite quotes from the book, Take The Stairs. The thought is simple.
Successful writers do the hard things that advance their novels or writing careers while everyone else chooses to do the easy things.
Which are you?