Sunday, September 23, 2018

A Matter of Discipline

Last week I talked about the trouble with being too rigid, whether it’s with the format for these posts or which writing project I work on at any given time. So I’m trying to be more relaxed about both, but exercising discipline remains essential.

If God hadn’t given me the power to put my rear-end in a chair in front of the computer for at least a few hours every day, and write whether I felt like it or not, I’d never have finished my first novel. Much less published eleven. And I’m still managing to put in the time. But this work requires a great deal of mental discipline as well. And that has become an issue.

Sometimes it’s good to let my mind roam, like when I’m searching for story ideas. (Though even then it’s best to keep my musings within a proscribed area.) But when I’m actually writing, particularly when I’m rewriting and revising, it’s vital to keep my thoughts from wandering and concentrate on what I’m doing. And for a significant stretch of time.

Accomplishing that, though, has become a challenge for me – a new and unfamiliar problem, as I’m naturally a fairly focused person who (had) learned how to discipline my mind. I don’t like seeing that skill slip away, especially since I have so many books I’m eager to write. But I’m working to regain that ability. And I’m not going to give up just because it’s difficult.

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