Writing and Discipline

“The writer has to force himself to work. He has to make his own hours and if he doesn’t go to his desk at all there is nobody to scold him.” – Roald Dahl

Anyone who is a writer, or aiming to be a writer, will know that discipline is probably the hardest part of writing. We are always full of justifications, excuses and the most tragic of them all, laziness. It is because we are lazy that we are full of excuses and reasons as to why we cannot sit down and write every day. We even resort to saying that we are just not feeling inspired, but that is just as much of a good reason for not writing as saying ‘I don’t feel like it today’. The problem fellow writers, is not a lack of inspiration but a lack of discipline.

I am not denying that there are those days when we do lack inspiration, but if you have already started your writing project you do not need to have inspiration to sit down and write that one page a day. The important thing is that you had the inspiration to start your writing project, from there onwards it is all about discipline. If you are lacking inspiration, just sit down and write anyway. Even if what you have written today is not as great as your other pages, just write it, because every day that you do not write is an opportunity missed at becoming a brilliant writer. Laziness hinders us from so many great opportunities in our lives; don’t let it hinder you from becoming a writer. Discipline and perseverance makes up 80% of your writing project.

The trick is to set a limit as to how much you would like to write every day. Yes, every single day. Decide whether you want to write x amount of words per day, x amount of pages per day, or x amount of hours per day, it all depends on the amount of time you have at your disposal. Just make sure that you do not set a limit which in reality you simply don’t have time for. Setting a limit which you cannot stick to will not help to motivate you. Personally, what I find the easiest target to be is to start off with a page a day. A page a day is doable and you can write it at any time of the day or night. You can gradually increase that one page a day to two or three or more as you get into the habit of writing every day. The hardest part is forming that habit; once you have formed the habit of writing every day you will find it hard to go without writing every day. The more you write, the better you become and the more you will find yourself bursting with new ideas. Just remember: be persistent, be disciplined, and don’t put yourself down. Once you have found discipline in writing, you will also have found freedom in writing.

(This is a post by our new intern Ivelina Divena)

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