Today was AWESOME.
I started off the day relaxed, checking some emails, catching up on news. Showered. Dressed. Tidied the house a bit, and took the trash out. Then I got cracking on the writing. I put in a thousand words before taking a break to watch an episode of “The 100”, which seems on track to mess up the lives of all of the main characters. Going to be interesting to see how they write their way out of it.
Had lunch. Then back to work again, and got another 1500 words in, taking breaks now and again. It seems like that helps – to try for 500-600 words, then get up, walk around a bit, do something else, check email – and then get back into it again.
SO got home from work late, and I had a nice dinner prepared. We ate, and got down to our respective tasks again. I got in another 1500 words before calling it a night. Overall, a really nice work day – 4000 words is the best I’ve done in a single day in quite a while. I’m really happy with it, and really happy with how my writing is building up over time.
Which is a nice segue into what I wanted to talk about today: discipline in writing. There was a post on Indies Unlimited today talking about how discipline isn’t really necessary. I posted a reply, saying that yes, I agree – it’s not necessary to have discipline to write, if your goal is to remain a casual amateur, or even to make a little money from your writing as a sideline. But if you want to excel? If you want to be a full time professional at writing fiction, and make your living that way? Then I think discipline is essential
Discipline isn’t something you have or you don’t have. It’s something you build over time, like a muscle.
We can look at a competitive marathon runner and see the discipline they use to stay in shape. They run every day. They eat well. They maintain their body, and keep it in athletic trim. What we DON’T always see is how they got there.
Maybe they started off trying to run a mile a day. They did it for a week, and fell off the wagon. Then they got back on, and worked their way up to three miles a day. Then they found they could push and go longer, on some days. The runner kept going, building up discipline over time
Writing is like that, too.
Nobody starts off putting out 10,000 words in a day. I’ve put in a couple of 20,000+ word days, and they’re EXHAUSTING. I was burned out, after. Right now, I am in the process of building myself up to a high level of daily writing, by trying to be disciplined in my approach. I write daily, or darned close. I blog daily about how much I have written. And I push to try to do a good job.
I’m as guilty as anyone of getting distracted. I’m being distracted right now, typing this. 😉 And that’s OK. The point is not to go zero to sixty in an instant. I could no more simply sit down and write 5k words a day, every day, than I could flap my arms and fly.
But I’ve noticed some things.
The more I write every day, the better my writing gets.
The more I write every day, the easier it is to sit down and write.
The more I write every day, the more words I tend to be able to do in a day.
The more I write every day, the less the distractions seem to keep me away.
I did 4k words yesterday. I’m aiming for 4k more today. Those are GOOD days, for me. By next month, I expect those will be pretty typical days.
Discipline is built, one day at a time. And it is essential to excellence in ANYTHING you want to do.
Fiction words for the day: 4000 Fiction words for November: 23,300 (8600 into the 4th episode)
Blog Words today:: 682 Blog Words for November: 8319