Discipline is not a wish to do something or even a need. Discipline is doing something no matter how you feel. Discipline is doing something because you have made it your number one priority. With a strong writing discipline, everything that stands in the way of your writing becomes roadkill on your writing highway.
Establishing a strong writing discipline may take no more than a change of focus from what is now primary for you. In extreme cases it may require a change of personality. You don’t need some complicated psychotherapy course to take you through the change. It’s easiest to keep it simple.
You Are A Writer
Make writing your new religion. Make it the very purpose of your existence. You are put on this earth to write. If you never had an old religion, you can still relate to what this means. Think of a hobby or career that became all consuming because you enjoyed it so much.
Maybe you feel you don’t enjoy writing that much yet. Once you make writing your purpose in life, you will produce more, you will become more skilled, and you will become a faster writer. This increases your love of writing. When writing takes priority, you will have time to experiment with different writing techniques and writing types that apply to different writing careers. Finding the writing methods that work for you and the writing fields you most want to work in will also increase your love of writing.
Establish Your Basic Writing Laws
Create writing laws that you will follow slavishly. “I must start every day with writing” is a good one to start you off. What are your goals for each day, week, and year? What do you wish you were doing for your writing on a regular basis? Make these into laws that are part of your life.
In the same way as a fundamentalist will skip anything that interferes with their religious services, you must skip anything that interferes with writing. Do you have time consuming hobbies that crowd your writing time? Decide now that you love writing more than those hobbies.
Don’t make writing like a 9 to 5 job. You’re not working a shift. There are no scheduled break times. It’s not something you hate because it’s dictated by someone else. This is your choice for your life. Develop your own work methods and schedules. Muslims pray 5 times a day. Can you find 5 times a day to write?
Your Writing Spirit is the True Motivator
Never let the writing laws you’ve set for yourself interfere with enjoying your writing. Your love of writing is the spirit that keeps your writing alive and meaningful. Failing to keep your writing laws because you’re doing some other writing is always more than okay. When you become compulsively obsessed with some writing you must do, you have gone beyond mere discipline to something higher. It feels great to be writing with that kind of motivation.
Make Big Plans
There’s nothing wrong with jumping around between different writing projects if you’re having fun with that. Blogging one day, article writing the next, your novel the day after and then a day working on your nonfiction book. That’s the same as how you succeed in university courses. You’re developing competence in multiple areas of your speciality. Just be aware that as long as you’re jumping from project to project, you’re in the training stage.
When you know you’ve become good enough that you could turn any one of those writing types into a career, it’s time to go for it. Make bigger plans. Finish one of those books. Write 100 blog posts. Want to write a book, but keep blogging? Complete a project of writing 100 blog posts first and schedule them for posting over the time period when you will be writing your book. You can always write a “what’s up with me now” type post between the milestones of your book project.
Decide now that you are a writer. Make writing your meaning of life. Create your own writing laws. Transcend those laws. Make big plans for your writing and follow through. That’s how you create a strong writing discipline.
Article by Ivan Izo.