I’m taking a bite of my sixth question from my 8 Questions Every Writer Must Ask Themselves post, and chomping down on: Am I disciplined and if self-discipline is a challenge for me, what do I plan to do to improve in that area?
We are all distracted. It’s an ADHD nation. Check out the following list yammering at me throughout the day (especially during key writing times)…
call bank about statement, email, twitter, Facebook, Blogger (love you guys), order gift for Mo day, sign papers for daughter’s school, make note of soccer schedule change, switch out winter and summer clothes, buy Band-aids, change sheets, throw away old games, buy new summer shoes for girls, clean under kitchen cabinet, plan menu, do something about toenails, build platform, build platform, build platform, find better allergy medicine for daughter, read, pick weeds, make homemade bread dough, laundry…ugh, put recycles out, buy new printer cartridge, take back the pants that don’t fit, run, hunt for new dresser to refurbish, get rid of jiggle on the backside, help daughter with Sacagawea biography project, help other daughter with fairy tale 3-D diorama, clean toilets…yuck, call friends to set up time to hang out, organize for mom’s group, remind myself of girls on daughter’s soccer team I coach, send that thank you, pray hard about vision for writing, pray for kids before school, wipe gunk off windows, get groceries, put wire around peonies so they’ll grow right, call mom, call niece for birthday, apply flea medicine to dog, check for ticks on kids after they play outside, clean dishes, touch up paint on the walls where daughter made pen marks...
There you have it…dozens of things that compete for my attention at any given moment. Bet you have a list with cankles, too!
If self-discipline doesn’t come naturally to you, know that it will take time to develop. You won’t learn the art of the BIC soldier response overnight.
Here are some questions you can poke yourself with to help ascertain how willing you are to become more self-disciplined…
How much am I willing to invest (money, time, and/or sacrificing leisure activities?) in honing discipline skills?~
Does my schedule reflect what I want to assign as top priority in my life?
Do I have an ADHD approach to writing? Look, a bird. New email. Shoot, my nail chipped, better file it. TweetDeck here I come.~
Does passion alone fuel me to write or do I have an underlying commitment to my project whether I feel the passion or not?~
What practical steps will I take to become more self-discipline? (Ideas: Make a list of goals each week and stick by them. Shut off social networks for an allotted time. Talk to family members about specific needs and expectations. Research things effective and efficient people do that works. Reward yourself when you meet goals. Have a friend hold you accountable. Pray before you even begin writing. Turn off the TV. Buy inexpensive motivators, i.e. pens and journals. Challenge yourself to write five minutes longer every day for three weeks. Write down accomplishments and read these to help motivate you. Read. Read. Read. Write. Write. Write.)
What are your thoughts on self-discipline?