1. jjonz
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    jjonz New Member

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    The Discipline Of Writing: Help

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by jjonz, Oct 3, 2011.

    Some people have it, & some don't. When you can state the case that nothing else matters, not food, not dirty diapers, not football games, not sex,( ok i went to far with this one.) But you get the picture.

    2 Questions

    1. Is it( "it being" desire, fire, burning, when life bites you in the ass, you bite back,fortitude, never giving up,Rocky Balboa, Discipline) Something you are born with, or can you acquire this attribute?

    2. Do you schedule unflinching writing time daily?

    Help,

    Mr. 2year Writers Block.
     
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  2. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    I suppose there is discipline involved... but in my opinion you either want to do it or you don't. I remember at one point in time I wanted to learn how to play guitar. I got into it for about a week and then I just found out I didn't feel like putting the work in. With writing... if you don't want to write... don't write. Maybe you just like the idea of telling stories but you don't want to put the actual work in. Nothing wrong with it, it's not for everyone. But just find something you like doing and do it.
     
  3. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Agree with above, I think If you really WANT to write, either if you have the discipline or not, you will find a way to schedule some writing into your daily routine. And I think discipline is something everyone can acquire,(I don't think it's something you're born with) IF the motivations are strong enough.
    As for myself I don't set an specific time each day or week for writing, but i don't have to either, because I enjoy it so much I don't wanna skip it, of course there are days I don't feel motivated to write creatively but these days I edit my old work instead, so I'm always in touch with the writing somehow. And I know if I let too many days pass by without writing it would be more difficult to get back in the right mindset again, which I don't want to happen. It IS a daily routine for me, just like having dinner and brushing my teeth. I sit down and open my document and write however much I want, no word-goals necessary. When in the creative phase (in the first draft) I often set a small goal for each day, say, 1000 words, but when rewriting it's harder to set a goal.
     
  4. ShadowScribbler
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    ShadowScribbler Member

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    Writing, like every creative process, is a very demanding one. Being good at it isn't everything -- you have to develop a discipline if you want to do it seriously. I, for one, am not a disciplined person. Just ask my gym trainer. Or my math professors. Or my creative workshop professor. Or anyone in my life, for that matter. But I try to make an extra effort for writing because if I'm not willing to go all out there for the thing that matters to me the most, then my life really is quite pointless.

    I get creative blockages all the time, and lately it's become a very nagging thing. I used to write consistently for a year, almost every day and a healthy word count too (4,000 min) and suddenly I can't write anything. I know it's mostly personal issues I'm dealing with, but a friend told me that wasn't an excuse. If you want to write, then sit down and write. Make it happen.

    As for re-writing, ha. I'd love to move past the first draft one day. xD
     
  5. emmams
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    emmams New Member

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    I think that discipline can be learned by making a conscience habit. That's true with writing and pretty much everything else in life. Think about sticking to writing and it'll be easier to. I've suggested this to other people, maybe you want to check out National Novel Writing Month. It helped me become a more disciplined writer.
     
  6. Naiyn
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    Naiyn Contributing Member

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    This has more to do with environment than anything you're born with. It sounds good to say things like "you've got to pick yourself up by the boot-straps" or "when the going get tough, the tough get going" etc... But in reality, it's not always so easy to just 'decide' to be more disciplined or ambitious or what have you.

    But the good news is that you can indeed develop those qualities with practice, and perhaps more importantly, get yourself in an environment that you feel you are more likely to want to sit down and write. If you are easily distracted, find times and places that minimize those distractions. It's not a sure-fire guarantee of anything, but it's something to consider.

    I have to get up early in the morning before my work day begins, get a pot of coffee going and get to it. I found out long ago that I'm doomed if I try and write after I get home from work. My brain is pretty well mush by then.
     
  7. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    I will say, one easy thing to do is to create small goals for yourself. You might read a book and go "oh, I want to be able to do that" and then you try and plow your way into it and find it's impossible. But if you kind of incrementally work at it, eventually you will get to the point where you will be good enough to write something. And it might take years to get to that point... but eventually you get there.

    Case in point... my writing journey was like that. I started off with an idea for a story in high school, and I tried the brute force approach and failed miserably. For awhile I gave up on short stories, but one thing I found that I liked doing was getting on forums (like this one) and discussing various topics. My posts tended to be longer than average because I found it was something I liked doing. I did that for a few years and gained a few habits when it came to checking spelling and grammar. One of the website/forums that I went to would allow members of the site to write articles that would be shown on the front page of the website. All of it was volunteer, but I had free time and I wrote an article on whatever interested me every now and then and submitted it to them. I probably wrote like 30 articles for this website... all for free. They probably all weren't something worth selling, but it gave me the opportunity to practice organizing thoughts together into a finished product with an introduction and conclusion.

    And then from there that same idea for the story I tried to write all of those years ago came back to my mind. But now I was much better equipped to do it. So I wrote the story... it was okay for my first fiction story. I had ideas for other plots for stories and I gave those a go. After my 7th story... I've gotten a lot better at it. I still have a ways to go. The point being, It's probably been like 7 years since I first had that idea. So things like this take awhile. You don't master the art in one day.
     
  8. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I started writing my own stories at the same time I learned how to read. For some people, you're born with it, and for others, you acquire the interest later in life. Neither is better than the other, of course. What matters is that if you want to write, you write, even when you don't feel like it. If you stick to 200 words a day, you'll later be able to do 2,000 words a day, but it'll feel natural and not just like slugging it out. I make time to write every day, usually late at night, and yeah, I sleep less than most people for it, but it doesn't hurt me. Fit in the time where it works for you, as long as you fit it in somewhere and make it one of your priorities. It's important to not be one of those people who says "I'd like to be a writer someday" but then never writes anything. And sometimes it's a burning desire, other times it's a pain in the ass, but I"ll write every day even in the case of the latter (unless I'm on a road trip or something).

    Hope I helped, and good luck! :)
     
  9. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that you can learn to discipline yourself. I have this problem myself, which I'll admit is down to my laziness probably. I don't make myself write every day but I always do anyway because I want to. So firstly, I think you have to want to do it and don't feel that it's a chore to write. You've also got to set yourself achievable goals and once you have these, perhaps a little bribery such as if you write for an hour you can then have a piece of chocolate. It is also good to get into a routine, so maybe set yourself a specific time to write. I don't but it works for some people. Encouragement from others is also helpful so like emmams suggested, something like NaNoWriMo would help with this but this forum is also good with it. We're all happy to spur fellow writers on.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    only you can make you work at anything... if it's important enough to you, you will... it it's not, you won't... period!
     
  11. jjonz
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    jjonz New Member

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    thanks for all the help, well i better get going with these Outlines for the books i will write, thanks for all the Help.

    Best Quote i heard "If you want it/go and get it."
     
  12. mikeinseattle
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    mikeinseattle Member

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    I agree, small goals are best.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
  13. ShepardN7
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    ShepardN7 New Member

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    Being motivated is something that you can learn and it doesn't have to alter your life that much. I found this guy on youtube who had an interesting video about it and you may find it useful:
     
  14. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think discipline is acquired, although there are temperaments who are more or less likely to prefer regimented routine. Some people are perfectionists who like to clean and do things on a schedule. But generally speaking, work habits are gained in childhood. School, family, even things like sport or learning music, all instil a sense of work ethic into a child. If a child has no such influence, if they are perhaps dyslexic so everyone gave up on them because they think they're stupid, that kid might have given up on schoolwork too. Or a kid that's allowed to play video games and watch tv all the time, isn't required to do any chores, or homework or even to show up for school every day, they'll probably grow up into an adult who has major issues with self discipline, especially as far as academic-style activities are involved (like writing and studying).

    Having said that, everyone can learn discipline, if they really want to. All it takes is showing up at your desk every day, at a certain time, and staying there until the time is over. Preferably, whilst they are there, they'll write something too :) And like being on a diet, slipping once in a while won't matter as long as there's an overall move in the right direction.
     
  15. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    My discipline is not that great. I try to outline about 5 scenes a week, but sometimes, I get stuck. I don't want to fill the between of plot points with useless scenery or dialog.

    However, I'm so drained after work, I find myself just eating, showering and looking at a blank page.
     
  16. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I agree with @jazzabel. I've heard a few authors talk about their first attempts at writing, and the one thing they all had in common was that they lacked discipline. The good news is that it can be learned over time.

    Also, I should mention that Solzhenitsyn wrote his first novel while imprisoned in a labor camp. He wrote down passages on napkins I believe it was and then threw them away so the guards wouldn't find out he was writing. He ended up memorizing the entire novel and wrote it down on paper when he was released. If someone in a Soviet prison camp can find time to write a novel, so can you.
     
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  17. LeighAnn
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    LeighAnn Member

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    I write for 8 hours a day. Sometimes more. It doesn't matter if I'm inspired or not. Nothing, absolutely nothing, takes the place of discipline. You can be born with a desire to write the most beautiful novel ever written, and maybe you even have the talent to do it, but if you can't plant your butt in that chair and actually write, it just doesn't matter.
     
  18. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    The question is why you're not motivated to write. I can see taking steps to remove distractions, as Edna Ferber suggested: “The ideal view for daily writing, hour on hour, is the blank brick wall of a cold-storage warehouse. Failing this, a stretch of sky will do cloudless if possible.”

    But the basic question remains. Why are you not looking forward to sitting down and spending time with your characters? Answer that or it will always be something you do only because you feel you should.

    Some possible problems that can cause a lack of motivation:

    • You're focused on plot ideas and Story with that capital S and enjoy the imagination part of it—the finished product, so to speak, not the work of laying the bricks and mixing the mortar.
    • You have the idea and the framework of the story but lack the knowledge of story construction to translate the plot outline in your head into useable form that will transfer the story elements, intact, to the mind of a reader.
    • You enjoy talking about what makes stories interesting, from the point of view of a reader coming backstage, so to speak, so enjoy a site like this, but the actual writing is too solitary an occupation to be satisfying.

    There are many possibilities, and obviously, I can't tell you how to change your personal situation. I can tell you how to learn if you have the interest and aptitude, though. Spend an hour or three looking over the various techniques of craft and background knowledge. If you don't find what you're learning fascinating, you have your answer. If you do, what you're doing might just be the thing that will make the writing part more fun. And since you're already working in a library, call in a copy of Jack Bickham's Scene and Sequel. Lots of people claim they became successful writers because of that book, so it's a good place to begin.
     
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