A to Z Blogging Challenge, Writing Process

S is for Self-Discipline

I was originally going to post about my decision to self-publish, but I really didn’t feel like getting that soapbox out again.  Long story short, I am self publishing for a few reasons the top of the list is control, closely followed by wanting to tell my story not what marketing thinks makes a good story (which also comes down to control).  If you want to read more about my thoughts on self-publishing look here and here.

As a writer self-discipline is extremely important (and some days I lack it all together, why yes I’ll eat another handful of Skittles).  When I first started writing, I would work on multiple writing projects at the same time.  One would play a distraction when the other was just too tough, or better yet I’d just walk away for a while (and by a while I mean days, weeks, sometimes months).  Which explains why it took me so long to finish that draft.

I have been working towards developing my self-discipline by respecting the craft and creating balance in my life.  Now, I work on one major project at a time.  Not to say that I only work on one story at a time, but instead I am only working on the Malcolm Stone series.  Right at this moment I am working on getting Dissonance ready publish, re-writing Reverie (basically from scratch), and forming vague ideas and outlines for Harmony.  While I still work on multiple projects at the same time, I’m working with the same character set.  I have been able to refine my story telling voice by telling the same character’s story.  It seems to be working better than jumping between different character and having to get into their voice.  I discovered while I was doing that I tended to write shallow characters, because I didn’t get to know them well enough to find their individual voices.

My self-discipline comes hand and hand with prioritizing my tasks and creating lists.  I need little manageable tasks to not get overwhelmed.  When I get overwhelmed I tend to walk away from projects and come back to them another day.  But with steps, lists and outlines it makes the project much more manageable.  It also helps to have someone to make you be accountable.  That is the one downside I see with self-publishing.  I can push back goals and deadlines as far as I want (but that’s also a good thing so I don’t release an inferior product).

I have learned that I have to show up to write well.  For me that doesn’t mean I have to write everyday, but I do have to think about the plot of the story or scenes at least once a week.  I would love to be able to sit down and write everyday, but sometimes it’s just not a feasible goal.  Right now I will just work on that balance and self-discipline to show up on those days that I dedicate to writing.

*The irony is not lost on me that I’m posting this towards the end of the day for the “S” post and I put it off yesterday, because I wanted to write on my book instead though I only got 500 words written on the book. 


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