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This Is What Discipline Looks Like

You want to achieve something; to write a first draft; to publish your novel; to put words on the page every day. You know what you want. It’s clear in your mind and has been for some time now.

You figure out what actions it will take to start making some progress on said achievement. You write them down and make a to-do list.

You commit to doing the work.

Then you sit down in front of your computer, open a blank document or Scrivener file and get started. You may have to start from scratch, building something brand new that’s still living in your head. Or you may be able to rework something you wrote previously.

You work for about 20 minutes and then go take a quick break before coming back for another session.

The next day, you do the exact same thing.

The day after, the same.

And the day after…

And the day after…

And the day after…

Then you might have some Resistance pop up and try to pull you away from the page. But you fight it and get there anyhow.

Same thing happens the next day, and words still get on the page.

Then you have a really, really rough morning. You’re not feeling great, and your dog is driving you nuts and you’re kind of tired. All you want to do is curl back up in bed.

But instead you write your daily word count.

The next day you’re feeling like your old self again and you bang out an hour’s worth of words without even realizing it.

The next few days are tougher, because you have family in town visiting and they’re pulling your attention away. The Resistance is strong. Stronger than ever maybe. And you’ve done so well the last couple weeks, there’s no reason you can’t give yourself a break.

But just for today.

Except now the words pull at you, beckoning you to the page with their magnetism. You can’t not write. So you get some words down on the page before heading to lunch with the family.

After they’re gone, it becomes harder to get back on track because you’ve let yourself be looser with your daily writing while they were in town.

But you still sit down at the page anyhow.

You have no idea what you’re going to write. The words won’t come. But you continue to sit there. You read something inspirational or you do a writing prompt, just to jump-start your creative juices.

And then the words bubble up and spill out. Maybe faster than they ever have before… like they’ve been built up and held back by a dam that is now gone.

And you feel good. Better than ever, maybe.

You feel like a real writer.

You smile as you step away from your laptop, closing the lid. This was a good day.

And tomorrow, the battle starts again…

Dream life or bust,

 

 

#DreamLifeOrBust #DailyThinkDifferent

P.S. Have you ever heard of the Law of Attraction? The idea that you can attract into your life whatever you think about and take action on? What if you really can have whatever you dream of having? What if you believed it was all within reach?

What if I told you that you can use this same law to get whatever you want in your writing life? (Hint: you can.) Stay tuned…

Here’s A Very Effective Way to Get More Writing Done

By Jennifer Blanchard

I have a confession to make: I can’t live without my BlackBerry.

My entire life is programmed into that thing–my doctor appointments, meetings I have at work, reminders I set for myself, etc. If I ever lost it, I’d go crazy and probably forget everything.

For me, setting appointments is a huge step toward getting something accomplished.

If I put it in my phone and set a reminder, there’s a much better chance it will get done than if I don’t write it down at all.

Making writing appointments can be an effective way to get your writing done.

However, most procrastinators–even if they made a writing “appointment”–still wouldn’t write when their schedule says they are supposed to. This usually boils down to a couple things:

  • People are often afraid of committing to a specific time because then they feel pressured to write
  • People don’t know how to keep an appointment with themselves

There is a simple method to help rid you of any fears you might have about making a writing appointment. I call it “Make an Appointment a Day.”

How it works is:

  • For a two week period, you make one appointment every single day.The appointment can be anything you need to accomplish–walk the dog, exercise, get your nails done, play basketball–whatever.
  • Then you keep whatever appointment you made, every single day.Doing so will help you get in a habit of committing to yourself and following through. Once you are able to do that for your everyday tasks, then you can transition to making a writing appointment every day.

An Example
Here is an example of how a week with one appointment a day would look:

  • Monday: exercise 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday: walk the dog 5:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday: watch America’s Next Top Model 7 p.m.
  • Thursday: exercise 8 p.m.
  • Friday: drinks with friends 9 p.m.
  • Saturday: mow the grass 11:30 a.m.
  • Sunday: make lunch for the entire week 2 p.m.

So in this example, if these are the appointments you’ve made with yourself, you would need to make sure you complete each task when the time comes.

It’s difficult to be accountable to yourself (which is why a reliability buddy helps); that’s why scheduling writing appointments is so important. Sometimes that’s the only way you’ll ever really be accountable to yourself.

But since keeping self-set writing deadlines is difficult, especially for writers who procrastinate, learning to first keep any kind of self-set deadline (see example above) will help get you on the right track.

Give “Making an Appointment a Day” a try, and if you do, be sure to let us know how it went.

How To Write A 250 to 300-Page Novel In 10 Weeks

By Jennifer Blanchard

You’ve wanted to write your novel forever–but you just can’t seem to sit down and write. It’s going to take so much time, right? You’re going to have to write during every free hour of your days to get it finished, right?

What if you could complete your 250 to 300-page novel in about 10 weeks (give or take a couple days) without giving up fun activities or spending every second writing? Would you finally sit down and do it?

I finished my first novel in only 10 weeks and you can, too. Here’s how:

  • Have a Plan–You don’t have to plan out every single page or chapter in your book, but you should have some idea of where you’re headed. Plot sheets and character sheets will help you with this task. You can find these online. Or read Story Engineering, by Larry Brooks. Having a novel plan is a good way to stay on track and make sure there aren’t any holes in your plot.
  • Commit to Your Writing–In order for you to successfully write a novel in 10 weeks, you need to be committed to your writing. You need to make your writing a priority. You need to sit down and write. No excuses. (Isn’t about time you did this?)
  • Write 2 Chapters a Week, No Less–In order to stay on task and complete your book in 10 weeks, you have to write an average of 2 chapters a week. Some weeks you might write more, some less, but to get it all finished in 10 weeks, you need to write about 2 chapters a week. It doesn’t matter if you write your chapters all in one day or over several days, as long as you get them written.
  • Get a Reliability Buddy–If you’re serious about writing your novel in 10 weeks, you need to find someone to be accountable to. This can be a friend, family member, writing coach, significant other–anyone who will keep you on-track and accountable for your chapters. You should pick someone you trust and someone who will hold you to your commitment.
  • Believe in Yourself–Throughout the 10 weeks, you will go through a series of emotions: happy, sad, angry, depressed, “blocked,” excited, at a loss for words, motivated, etc. Knowing this ahead of time will help you deal better when it happens to you. When I was writing my novel, I had days where I wanted to throw my computer out the window and give up writing all together. That’s when I took a step back, walked away from the computer for a little bit and re-gathered my thoughts. (I also leaned on my reliability buddy.) Try doing the same.
  • Take One Day Off Each Week–I highly recommend doing this. Although it may seem like wasting time, even the best writers need to take a break every now and then. You don’t have to take one day off a week, but you still need to make sure you have fun in your life, otherwise you might burn out on writing.

Why You Should Write Every Day, and How To Do It

One of the themes of this blog is writing everyday. And if you want to be a writer, and especially a professional writer, you need to write everyday no exception.

Now what you write is the least important thing. You can write anything you’d like: fiction, poetry, a non-fiction article, etc., just as long as you write!

The blog post, How to Write Everyday and Why You Should, by Daily Writing Tips shares these tips for writing fiction, blogging or journaling everyday:

Fiction

  • end each day in the middle of a scene
  • have a target number of words or pages to aim for everyday
  • count planning, outlining and editing as part of your writing

Journaling

  • you don’t have to write in your journal first thing in the morning
  • pick a time of day that works for you and journal at that time everyday
  • view writing in your journal as a treat or reward

Blogging

  • write several posts at once and publish them throughout the week
  • having a deadline and sense of responsibility to your readers is a great way to stick with writing every day

The reason I bring this post up, is because the comments section is outstanding. So many people shared tips and tricks for what helps them write everyday.

Here are some of the things people shared:

  • There are a couple of things that have kept me going — one is that I know my
  • father reads it at work with his sandwich, so have to post by lunchtime; and the
  • other is that I get the occasional message from a reader who says that Three
  • Beautiful Things is helping them through a dark time — so I’m haunted by the
  • feeling that someone out there might be waiting for a post.–Clare
  • I find that I feel better when I write (is that the definition of an
  • addiction?). Hence, I write every day because I feel better.
  • Journal writing- everyday at 10AM
  • Short stories – written 6-8PM two or three nights a week
  • Blogs- 1PM
  • Having a book in progress is the easiest way to write everyday.

To see more comments from this article, check out DailyWritingTips.com.