9 Jul

“Do you get up this early every day?” 

Caleb usually works the evening shift at Starbucks, because he likes to sleep in until noon.  This morning, though, he made my latte at the (not so) early hour of eight.  

“Yes,” I told him, “I try to get up at by seven or eight so I can get all the things done that I love to do!”  

Truthfully, I’d get up at 6:30am if my bed wasn’t so comfortable.  But seven works.  I get up and get dressed, as if I was headed to an office, and not just to the corner of my bedroom.  I leave, get my coffee, and come back home – to work.

Every day, when I write, I sit at an old wooden desk that was my grandfather’s.  It is in the window corner of our one bedroom, and faces our little porch.  I love my view from this desk: a jungle of plants, the birdhouse my dad made from a gourd, and the occasional bird.  I drink my latte while I check email and this site, then I get down to business – make a schedule, make some goals, get to work. 

This morning, I came across a little blurb about discipline, and how important it is if you want to accomplish any goal:

Nothing worthwhile comes quickly, and nothing worthwhile comes without discipline.  Over life’s long haul, discipline works in every dimension of your life: financial, physical, mental, and spiritual….It’s easy to get caught in the trap of quick results when you focus on the results rather than the journey.  The truth is, the joy is in the journey, in the daily discipline of growing in the details of your mind, body, and spirit….The key is balance, consistency, and perseverance, all of which come from one thing and one thing only: discipline.

I love this quote.  We live in a world where people make our coffee for us, and all we have to do is show up.  We don’t sew our clothes these days – if we want something, we go buy it.  These are the times of instant gratification, in every single direction we turn.  When we set out to accomplish our goals, it’s easy to carry over these expectations, but nothing is more detrimental!  Whether it’s writing a novel or working out, it’s not realistic to expect instant success.  Discipline can be painful and hard – but it always pays off.  

 Right now, my main goal is to complete the second draft of my novel.  A secondary goal is to complete 30 Day Shred in thirty days.  An ongoing goal is to cook delicious, healthy food (and not break the bank) for my sweet husband.  

These goals don’t happen overnight, and they won’t happen at all without discipline.  Magazines, novels, television, the pool, and even other creative endeavors tempt me and vie for my time each day.  While I know these would be so…much…fun…I also know it will be an even sweeter reward to achieve my long-term goals.  

If discipline sounds undesirable or unattainable to you, be encouraged.  I think it sounds that way to everybody, at first.  I’m no expert at this.  I’m just a girl who has come to see value in discipline, so I’m working on it.  Somewhere along the way, it’s become part of my life and I’ve even started to enjoy it. 

How do you incorporate discipline into your life?  Do you enjoy it yet?


PS:  Discipline is one of those words that looks really strange to me after I read it out loud a few times.  

PPS: The blurb comes from a book called God is in the Small Stuff.  It sits on my desk, but I’ve never opened it before.  I just happened to get the urge to read something out of it, and I’m glad I did.  It motivated me.


4 Responses to “Discipline”

  1. jenniferneri Thursday / 9 July 09 at 10:25 pm #

    First off, have you seen Cynthia`s post about her writing room? I would love to see a pic of that desk you describe. She`s asking us to post and link back to her. I haven`t done so yet, but I intend to.

    Very recently, I was out with my sister, and told her I need to become more like one of those moms who schedule everything. Now, I will say I need to become one of those writer`s who schedule everything! LOL. But, discipline has taken on a new meaning for me since having kids. What you describe is luxury for me. Writing keeps me grounded and balanced.

    • owlandsparrow Friday / 10 July 09 at 8:50 am #

      I looked at Cynthia’s post – that’s such a great idea! Perhaps I can get a picture up one of these days.

      I absolutely admire you for writing while you have kids, especially with all the projects you have going on right now. That’s wonderful! My husband and I are trying to wait a bit before kids. I’m no stranger to being crazy busy, but I imagine being a mother is in an entirely different league. We’ll see how disciplined (and productive) I am once that happens!

      After years of customer service jobs that ate at my soul daily, I decided to do something more productive with my heart and mind (like NOT being the person who hands you coffee through the drive through window, for example!), so I started writing my novel. After a while, working just wasn’t worth it. My manager cut hours, my salary was tiny, and to top it off, I’d be so tired after my 4:30am shift it didn’t matter how much of the day I had left – I just wanted to sleep or watch tv. My husband suggested I quit and focus on writing, so I took him up on it. I guess I’ve developed a sense of scheduling as a result – treat it like a job. This is probably realistic for me only because I don’t have kids or many other responsibilities right now.

      I love what you said about writing keeping you grounded and balanced. It’s a great reminder to me that this is only a season of my life, and when I have kids or other responsibilities, what I described could end up being a luxury for me, too. I’m encouraged by your determination – querying your first novel, writing your second (and working on shorts) – and will try to remember that in busier days ahead. Thank you!! 🙂

  2. jenniferneri Friday / 10 July 09 at 9:28 pm #

    Oh, thank you! And I too remind myself that this time is fleeting, when I begin to feel my frustration rise with the lack of time I sometimes manage to devote to writing.

    I think it’s wonderful that you are doing this! Not everyone would have such an opportunity, and it sounds like you are taking full advantage! I am curious as to what you are writing.

    It sounds like a lot that I am working on, but the shorts have been written over a good period of time, and now my aim is to do a final round of editing and submit submit submit, and get them off my laptop. I have taken a little query break, but I feel ready to pounce again, and well, the novel I am currently writing just needs to be written. If I wasn’t writting, I would be one miserable creatrure 🙂

    • owlandsparrow Monday / 13 July 09 at 10:12 am #

      Right now, I’m working on a young adult fiction novel. I know that’s a little vague, but it’s the best way I’ve found to describe it. It has elements of adventure and mystery, it is both plot- and character-driven, and involves a bit of fantasy. I love reading this kind of book, and decided to write one of my own. Thanks for your curiosity!

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