WITHIN AN AUTHOR’S TOOLBOX FOR SUCCESSby Sherrie Clark
Did you know that a crucial tool in an author’s toolbox for success is self-discipline? Before you slip on your running shoes to skedaddle the other way, realize that applying self-discipline to your writing can make a world of difference between finishing your book and having it sit in your brain collecting cobwebs.
We all agree that writing a book sounds like an awesome idea, but if we don’t actually make ourselves sit down and write it, then it remains just an idea. Some of us don’t realize that what we’re missing is self-discipline; we simply know we can’t make ourselves write that book. Others know we need it but don’t know how to acquire it. Then there are some of us who have self-discipline but somehow when we need it to write our book, it’s M.I.A. Why? Perhaps it’s because we don’t quite know what to do, so like a deer caught in headlights, we become paralyzed and do nothing. Writing that book now becomes drudgery instead of fun. We’ve forgotten why we want to write our book and why we need to write it.
What’s a writer to do? Start off by reminding yourself why you wanted to write your book in the first place. Then take a look at your schedule. What times do you have available where nothing is planned? Is it Monday, Thursday, and Saturday nights between 9 and 11? Maybe those are times you should spend writing your book. Perhaps you only have one hour a week to write. Take advantage of it. Use those open times to write, write, write as if your life depended on it. Pick a quiet place away from interruptions. Tell everyone that’s your time to write and not to disturb you. Treat your writing as a job. Stick with it because you’re now developing (or strengthening) your self-discipline, and it’s all good. In sticking with it, you can write your book in less time than you think.
What happens if you fall off the boat, so to speak, and you have to break your writing date because something has happened? Remember, life happens to all of us, so don’t beat yourself up. Give yourself some grace and pick yourself back up and get back to writing. Your book, your future readers, and you will appreciate all of your efforts when you see your book published.
So be disciplined about your self-discipline. Get organized. Get determined, and get ‘er done!