Tag Archives: discipline


22 Jan

Something awful put me out of commission for two days, thwarting my plans for all things edit-related (and even, somewhat, all things plain-old-fiction-reading- and reality-TV-watching-related).  I’m feeling a bit better this morning, so I’m going to try this again.


Here’s hoping that after two days of absolutely justified rest, my mind is actually ready to dive back in — because I so want to keep reading, keep analyzing, keep making colorful notes.  I still hope to meet my self-imposed deadline (one week from today), but it was a bit ambitious to begin with.  Now that I’ve lost two working days, the deadline might need to get pushed back just a bit.  I’ll make that decision next week, though, and only if I have to.

And now, with my paper Starbucks cup filled, not with a latte, but with still-steaming Earl Grey tea, I toast: here’s to diligent work, to diligent rest, and to the ability to decide when to do which one.

Revision Update, Phase One | 40 pages down, 296 to go

PS: You can check out all the updates for Project: Edit, and other projects, on the “Challenges!” page in the sidebar out to the right.


14 Oct

Project Fix-Those-Ten-Thousand-Or-So-Words-In-The-Middle is done, more or less.  Cue the rejoicing angels, because I’ve managed to focus just enough to be productive without being obsessive.  

My novel’s middle is in the recovery room, held together with fragile black sutures, but held together it is.  No guts spilling out, no bones poking through.  Nothing major, anyway.  It took one laid-back week to read through it critically, and another week to do the surgery.  I could probably spend all of next week tweaking it to death, but I’ve decided to leave the tweaks for when I read through the full version of this manuscript.  And the full version will not get written if I spend weeks dillydallying around making one section ‘perfect,’ whatever that means, if it’s even possible.

Being a perfectionist(ish) person, it’s hard for me to separate what needs to be done right now and what can wait until I finish the full draft.  What I have right now is not the prettiest, fanciest thing, but it’s functional.  It’s alive.  It’s definitely good enough to leave the tweaking for later and move on to writing fresh scenes.

With all the reading and edits I’ve done lately, I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing every single day.  I need to build my writing diligence back up again, need to get back in the swing of planting myself at the screen and typing away.  Though I haven’t fully decided whether or not I want to commit this year, I went ahead and created a NaNoWriMo¹ account.  With a new idea ready in the wings, I’m still tempted to try it, if for nothing else other than stretching my writing muscles back out again on a project unrelated to the current one.  

Anyway, the sun just started shining over Texas again.  It’s been cloudy and rainy for weeks.  I’ll pretend to be one of those people who prefers sunny days for a second, and say something cheesy like, “The rainy season of my novel has ended at last!  The sun is shining upon it once again!”

Told you it would be cheesy.

Hopefully it will start pouring again soon², and I can wear my super-awesome yellow rain boots.  And I will write, and write, and write.  And I’ll tell you all about it along the way. 

¹My NaNo name is also owlandsparrow.  Feel free to befriend me, as I will want friends if I do decide to partake in the insanity.

²In real life, I mean.  Not in cheesy-metaphor-land.


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.