Take Five series: #23: The daily grind
Well, there's the goal. It's another day. Proceed.
If you've made it this far, already, then this advice will be superfluous, and that's a great thing. The reason for that - yes, writing a novel requires talent and the right tools (a working knowledge of grammar, spelling and so on), but one really important element that people forget is discipline. If you've made it this far, the odds are that you have discipline and will just keep on going, making progress towards your goal.
Actually - discipline, focus and persistence are all important and sort of connected; you need focus, to organize and complete your projects; discipline, to write when you don't feel like it; persistence, to continue well beyond places where nearly anyone else would give up. In fact, persistence will take you to places where 99.9% of people would give up; it's a handy personality trait in a writer, as well as being useful in life, just in general.
Author Cherie Priest comments on discipline in an interview with game site, Grinding to Valhalla:
Anybody who keeps up with my web page knows what my personal grind looks like. Almost every day I post the word metrics and a general update on whatever project is in the queue, not so much to keep the world informed, but to keep my progress tracked. I am not innately good at self-direction and time management. That sort of discipline took me a long time to learn, and it'd be easy to un-learn if I let myself get out of the habit.
People talk a lot about their muse, and about how inspiration strikes them, and I guess that must be nice. I'm sure that it really does work that way, for some people, but not for me. For me, it's a matter of sitting down and writing every day whether I want to or not - whether I'm feeling inspired or not, and whether I have anything to say or not. Because usually, once I force myself to get started, I get into the groove and end up making a productive day of it after all, despite any initial hesitation.
The fact is, I have deadlines.
Those deadlines do not wait for my muse to get its ass in gear.
Shown above: Interview with Cherie Priest. Video courtesy of PNWA (Pacific Northwest Writers Association).
The rest of the interview may be read here: Interview with Cherie Priest
A video interview with this author is show above; she doesn't discuss today's topic, but you might be interested on her take on other subjects.
About this series
The Take Five series is curated by Sasha Soren, author of Random Magic. You can find out more about the book here, if you like: