Follow Up for TWUC’s Strategies for Writing Discipline
There were a few questions we didn’t get a chance to answer yesterday and I wanted to do a quick follow up for those folks, as well as add a couple of extra thoughts to the question of creating and maintaining writing discipline.
The video for the Q & A is here:
The social media question starts at 0:18, daily schedule around 2:35, & writing groups at 3:5
As for the question of writing discipline:
1. Try substituting “discipline” for “kindness” and see if that helps. What is the kind thing for you to do today to feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction? (I find this can help me with prioritizing my tasks).
2. We talked about comparison being the thief of joy and how destructive it can be to compare ourselves to others. Here’s the thing. It can also be destructive to compare our Today Person to our Yesterday Person. Sure, we can have had a great writing week last week, but that doesn’t necessarily mean this week will be as productive.
I think about it like surfing (hilarious, since y’all know I am not about anything athletic!), but to catch and ride the wave, we have to paddle out to sea. Some days/weeks/months, we’re going to do a lot of paddling. Holding ourselves to the memory of that awesome wave as inspiration to keep going is one thing. Holding to it as a way to beat ourselves up is something else, entirely.
Every day is a new day with new goals and rules. It’s okay to be flexible to those daily changes and adjust our goals accordingly.
3. Set goals that are in your control. I try to keep up on the industry and read books on the craft. One book suggested that authors saying things like, “I’m going to find my agent in a year,” isn’t helpful and they shouldn’t do that.
And I thought, “Yes, great advice.”
The author then said, “You need to give yourself five years to meet a goal like that.”
And I returned the book to the library.
The advice, forgive me, is nonsense. It is not in our control if we sign with an agent. You know why? Because that’s someone else’s decision!
You know what is in our control? If we submit. How often we submit. If we take classes/seminars on how to pitch to agents.
I can set a goal that says, “This year, I will submit to twenty agents,” because that’s a goal that is in my control.
How long it takes to get an agent is OUT of my control—and what happens if the five year mark goes without someone offering representation? Does that make me a failure? Less of a writer?
Friends, choose goals that are in your control to achieve.