Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Discipline (the Good Kind)

Hi. I didn't blog yesterday. (bad faith)

I should have, because this whole exercise, although definitely being about the novel and venting my energies, it is also about discipline.

Discipline means writing every day.

So that means that today I am writing this, although I have no clear topic in mind and nothing, really, to say.

I could continue to talk about discipline, I suppose. It's an important consideration in any long term project, really, but in novel-writing especially. You just have to sit down and write the damn thing.

For instance, I have the very bad habit of procrastinating my butt off and then starting an essay the night before it is due. For this project, I don't really have a deadline since I'm not under contract. I can take my time. But what I can't do is say "I'll start it tomorrow" and then never follow through.

On the other hand, if that due date wasn't there, I would never write the essay.

Now, of course that's not really the same thing because in general, I don't find writing analytical essays to be a fun process. I wouldn't do it on my own time, unless I had a very good reason. Like money. Or cookies. And then it wouldn't be totally voluntary, would it?

But the point is still valid- and that is that I need a deadline in order to function.

"But," you say, "aren't you forgetting something? You have a deadline! 50,000 words in a month! Doesn't that qualify?" And you're right, it does! So nanowrimo gives me the deadline, and that's great. But I still need the discipline.

The discipline to sit down every day and meet my target word count.
The discipline to push through even when I'm tired and hungry and incoherent and having a bad day and the words aren't coming and everything I've written so far sounds horrible.
The discipline to write crap and fix it later.
The discipline to see this through to the end, and not let this novel, like so many others before it, fall by the wayside.
The discipline to realize when it's finally time to move on.

In short, the discipline to write a novel.

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