dis•ci•pline noun \ˈdi-sə-plən\ : control that is gained by requiring that rules or orders be obeyed and punishing bad behavior
: a way of behaving that shows a willingness to obey rules or orders
: behavior that is judged by how well it follows a set of rules or orders
Having grown up in a house with a parent that had a pretty strict set of rules and enforced them with the quickness, and having attended catholic school from K through college, the word discipline is not new for me. Not only is the word not new, but the act of self-discipline is a hallmark of mine. I’ve mentioned this before, I’m sure. And so, it would seem, having the discipline to sit down to write my stories/books would come naturally. Wrong.
Nothing was/has been natural about it. Creative tasks seem to bring out a different kind of Aja. One where my mind roams so free that I don’t stay in the pre-ordained box I’ve been in for the last 30 something years. But lately, I’ve been observing my mentor. His discipline is admirable and only for the tiniest bit of time, I felt envy. How can he be so disciplined?
The man has outlines, dossiers on characters and then pops out at least a chapter a day- plugging away until he’s finished. And here I am sitting at the computer, twiddling my thumbs. His patience hasn’t diminished but I can feel the question brimming beneath the surface of each conversation and it is this: “When is your behind going to sit down and write the book?!” No matter how much talent he or anyone else sees in me, it matters not if I don’t complete a project.
So this entire post was my way of reminding myself of my goal in writing. And knowing that no one will or can truly appreciate my gift or appreciate my stories if I don’t finish them, has pushed me towards discipline. I’ve come up with a schedule that I intend to keep starting Monday. So there. . .