I’m gonna talk about a very sensitive subject right now. Something that’s a hot button issue for many people. Trigger warning: you may have some kind of opinion about this. Ready?
In order to get anywhere with writing, or in any field really, you need to have…(Dare I say it?)…DISCIPLINE! hahaha
I know, I know.
We all hate to think of it. We all wish we could just be the best, find our niche, and do what we love with ease. But that’s because most writers have great imaginations. We’ve very good at living in our own fantasies.
If you want to make those dreams reality, you have to…(Oh not, not again)…WORK!
And not just when an agent or publisher gives you a deadline, you must learn to train yourself to meet goals and keep going.
How the fuck does one do this?
Well, I’m a positive reinforcement kinda writer. I give myself goals, set guidelines and benchmarks to help me get there. I tell myself that I have to meet the deadlines I set for myself because my success is in my hands. (For the most part.)
Rewards are my fav.
I do this with eating healthy and exercising regularly too. If I’m good all week, I’ll allow myself a fair amount of junk on the weekends. I’m no supermodel, but I am fit and trim. Exercise is it’s own reward because it makes me feel good. Not always while I’m doing it, but always after.
Aww hell, did I just compare writing to working out and dieting? Shit, I did. But you know what, it’s a good comparison. In order to live a healthy, well balanced life, one must discipline themselves.
Same with writing. If you want your stories to not only reach others, but bring you some kind of return, you have to condition yourself to your process (or processes in my case-my writing needs constantly change).
My current unfinished project is almost done. I just have to finish editing the last 50 pages and then I’m going to reward myself with a movie night. Just me and a flick I’ve been dying to watch.
It may seem miniscule. A lot of people watch shows and movies everyday, but I don’t have time for that. I’m too busy working to breathe life into my stories and give them the experiences they deserve.
I will finish the last of my edits by the end of this week for many reasons.
- I have a writing career and I have to nurture it to keep it.
- People will only read what’s finished.
- Meeting my goals makes the reward sweeter, no matter how simple.
- I could die tomorrow, hell, I could die while typing this post.
- Nobody owes me a damn thing.
I could go on listing a whole bunch of shit most people have already heard, but the main important reason why I refuse to fall behind is:
I have readers who actually care (not that many, haha, but enough) and I never want to ever let them down.
The best way I’ve found to keep going is to reward myself. It may not work for everyone, but it’s gotten me this far. I look forward to hitting benchmarks and meeting my deadlines. I have little reminders of why I do what I do and they give me the ability to work with discipline and hope.