Monday, October 15, 2007

Definition of Discipline . . . Aargh!

From Merriam-Webster's (emphasis mine) discipline 1: Punishment 2: Instruction 3: a field of study 4: training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character 5a: control gained by enforcing obedience or order b: orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior.

My keyword when I wrote my goals for this year? Discipline. I want a keyword for next year that means the same thing, but doesn't include punishment in its definition. Any suggestions?

Some things I've learned about writing every day: I get better; uncertainty doesn't have a chance to settle in; it's easier to see where my story needs to go; when people ask if I've been writing, my answer doesn't require justification.

One reason I've learned recently why I stop writing every day: I'm in the middle of some intense learning curve. Did I mention I have a mentor? Colleen Coble. A little bit of learning doesn't seem to phase me. But an intense amount? It needs to flow into me and coalesce. Get that skimmy stuff on top that real hot chocolate gets. Then, I need to stir it up a bit, sip it slow, and digest it. And finally, it needs to seep out my pores and into real life application. I guess that's how you teach this old dog new tricks, but as long as chocolate is involved . . . love it!

I heard a business coach say one time that if he scheduled something on his daily calendar, it didn't guarantee it would get done, but odds were against it ever happening if he didn't. Whether you're an SOTP (seat-of-the-pants) writer, a detailed plotter--or something in between--plotting your day can at least make you feel you've accomplished something when it's over.

Today I found myself behind before I started. I'll have to rely on that old stand-by skill called prioritization if I'm to get to those rewrites. And I will.

After I find some chocolate.

It's all better with friends.

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