The Disciplined Writer

This is totally not me. Discipline is probably my greatest weakness as a writer. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying that I have perfect technique, spelling or grammar, and sometimes my ideas turn out to be a waste of time…but these are all things that would improve much quicker if I had the discipline to work on them more often.

My discipline has improved greatly in the last few weeks. Firstly, I now carry several notebooks with me everywhere I go, just in case an idea hits when I’m out and about. Never again will I have to regret losing a great idea because I didn’t write it down in time.

Secondly, I now make a concerted effort to write something every day – even if it is only scrawling a few lines in my private journal. Having a blog has also helped motivate me to write more, although some days I find that I haven’t got anything to say that I’d be prepared to show the general public!

I mentioned in an earlier post that I have chosen a list of competitions to enter this year, and I’m finding that this has also helped to motivate me, although the long deadlines of some of the competitions have left quite a lot of scope for procrastination… I have also found that focusing on short stories leaves me less motivated to work on my novel…

I suppose in some ways, in some circumstances, this places short stories in the category of distractions – another reason my discipline suffers. People are another distraction. I find it very difficult to concentrate when there are other people around. I doubt I could ever be one of those writers who sit in cafés typing away, because I’d just be too distracted by the other people. I need a certain amount of background noise to concentrate, and I can usually ignore the TV in the background, but real people in the room is just a few degrees more distracting…

A few weeks ago I mentioned NaNoWriMo, more particularly my concern that writing such vast quantities of text in such a short period could lead to inferior quality writing. I discussed my thoughts with a friend who is a two time NaNoWriMo participant after publishing that particular post, and she pointed out that the aim was just to get ideas down on paper as fast as possible, and that although editing it afterwards was hard, there was plenty of time to do so after the writing period was over.

I am aware that at least a few of my regular readers are participating in the April ‘Camp NaNoWriMo’ and I wish them all good luck!!! If I’m still struggling as much with discipline by November as I am now, I may just have to sign up too…

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3 thoughts on “The Disciplined Writer

  1. I’m with you on this. Being disciplined is a problem. I want to write, I love writing, I feel better when I’m writing and after I’ve written (even if I know the work isn’t up to much)… but goddam, I need to write more! I’m 80% of the way through the first draft of a ‘kind of’ novel at the moment but I know that I should really be in to the second draft by now. Like you, I now try to write something every day – and starting my blog has helped – but, to an extent, it’s also a distraction, along with all the other interwebby fun. Onwards…

  2. Pingback: The day jobs we have to have | Musings of an aspiring scribbler

  3. Pingback: New Year’s Resolutions: Update #1 | Musings of an aspiring scribbler

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