Should there be writing discipline?

I have never finished a novel, apart from two rather appalling ones when I was a young child, but they don’t count.

This year, I’ve set myself the resolution/challenge of actually finishing a novel, and so far it’s working. The ingredients so far have included persistance, motivation and discipline. The latter is something that can be questioned when writing.

For one thing, writer’s have always been encouraged to be enthusiastic when writing, because this will show when the reader reads it. However, this enthusiasm, as any writer would know, only comes when authors get the zest for writing that day. So some writers choose to wait until one of these moments comes around and they write then. However, other writers would then say that the time it takes to finish the novel is way longer than that of writing with “discipline”.

In this instance, “writing discipline” has definitely been applied to my book writing adventure at present. There has been one day already where I didn’t particularly have the urge to write. But since I have now set myself the target of writing some words of my book everyday, me not writing that day would lead to the pattern being broken, and leaves a gap in my writing schedule where procrastination can sneak in, or the urge to give up the book altogether – not good!

When it came to that day, I perservered. I continued the pattern. Sure enough, I didn’t particularly want to write, and people say that doing that makes writing a chore (another big no-no!). This can be true, and another problem is that the lack of enthusiasm may make the chapter appear rubbish to a reader. But surprisingly, in this instance, I found the chapter to be interesting to write when it took off. If you want a simile to describe it, like a rusty engine. It takes a few revs and attempts before you get into the swing of it and it starts up (I hope that simile makes sense).

The idea of writing discipline is a questionable one, as we don’t want to restrict our creative freedom as writers, but we can’t afford to sit around waiting for a sudden burst of creativity to come at us.

Do you have a discipline when you write (if you do), or are you free to write whenever? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Liam

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10 thoughts on “Should there be writing discipline?

  1. I lack discipline but am working on improving it. I’m succeeding quite nicely so far. I sometimes like the idea of writing but am not always in the mood. But, like you say, if I sit down and just go for it I find myself enjoying it. Just do it!!! Good luck with your novel!

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  2. I tend to get really excited about writing when I first wake up in the morning. I think that has a lot to do with my dreams, which are usually extremely detailed and sometimes even have clearly defined plots. I would say I’m “disciplined” by any means — I write whenever I’m in the mood, and that mood generally seems to hit me in the morning. Although I had an excellent writing session yesterday night, so … maybe I just have no idea what I’m talking about, lol.

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    • Haha! Well some people do say that the subconscious mind is still active after we wake up, for a while, likewise before we go to sleep. This is usually where we get ideas, and sometimes dreams can solve plot errors and create new ideas for us!

      But if anything, if you’ve got an idea, definitely write it down, quick! 😀

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  3. I’ve just read a post about having a schedule, much like a baby has one ( only no napping for the writer) and it does make sense.

    I can not write any time I like, I have other things to do and because of this I find I am laxadaisical in my attitude to writing. This doesn’t help the pursuit at all.

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