The abuse of power and authority in so many settings has often been cloaked as discipline. Thus, over the years the word discipline has taken on a highly negative connotation. Yes, discipline is about establishing rules and expectations. Yes, there are consequences, positive and negative that follow the choices of obedience or disobedience. However, as a writer, it takes discipline to produce desired results. Here are some recommendations for establishing discipline as a writer:
1. Assess Risks – You’re probably wondering what risks have to do with writing. The answer? Everything. Take inventory of the things that you will lose, how you (and others) will be impacted if you don’t write something. Ask yourself, “what is not being a disciplined writer costing me right now?” Your answers may range from peace of mind to missed deadlines to loss of income opportunities.
2. Identify Rewards – Like assessing risks, it is important that you identify the rewards of being disciplined in your writing. Maybe it’s being a day closer to finishing a writing project. Perhaps writing brings a healing to a previously unattended area in your life. It is even possible that your writing is the only uninterrupted alone time that you can get. Spend some time identifying all of the rewards that you experience as a result of being disciplined to write.
3. Remove Distractions – As you are developing your discipline to write, distractions will seem all the more appealing. The distractions could be cell phones, ancillary websites, people and environments., just to name a few. Eliminate the distractions. This may require you to put your phone on Do Not Disturb or in a different room out of reach altogether. Disciplining yourself to write may also require you changing your writing environment and turning off the internet.
4. Set a Timer – Set a timer to designate the start and finish of your writing time. This may be a few minutes or last a few hours. During the time that you have set aside, focus solely on writing.
5. Write Daily – Even if you feel like you have nothing specific to write, make it a practice to write something every single day. Though it might not be your best writing, you are remaining in the process to produce something. In fact, you may be led to new ideas or fresh perspectives on an old challenge.
Discipline requires you to do the things we should do, even when you don’t feel like it. As a writer, it is imperative that you are disciplined in your writing in order to produce your best work repeatedly. Learning discipline can be as simple as setting a timer and removing distractions. It can also be a more intrinsic process requiring you to look within for risks and rewards that will propel you forward.
I’d love to hear about ways that you discipline yourself to write. Comment Below.