Thursday, June 13, 2013

Desperately Seeking Discipline

By Jackie King

The most successful authors I know all share one trait. Self-discipline. Discipline is more essential for a writer than creativity. Discipline is to be desired above either talent or creativity.

A disciplined individual, who decides to write, can learn fiction and nonfiction techniques and master the craft. She/he can learn basic plot types and can use these tools to practice creating stories. Creativity can’t be taught, but a clever person could learn character development, basic plot formation and then learn to apply these techniques to produce an entertaining story. And then another entertaining story.

A creative individual, who writes only when she/he feels inspired, will be lucky to finish even one book, much less enough work to form a career. Inspiration is a fickle work tool. And many editors and publishers tend to agree with me. Mine is included in this group. Regardless of the talent involved, before a work can be edited and published, it first must be completed. That’s where discipline comes in handy. And, oh, how I wish that quality was my long suit. But alas, it is not.

So each day I must strive to put my behind in the chair in front of the computer, position my fingers on the keys, and coax pouting characters to come out and play.

These characters, like cats that have been left behind while the family vacations, are angry and refuse to acknowledge my presence. To be honest, I don’t blame them, and must continue paying penance until I am forgiven. Let’s hope that is soon.





Jean Henry Mead said...

Great post, Jackie. It's so true that without selt discipline, no one will succeed at writing. I finally harnessed my self discipline about five years ago and trained myself to grab a cup of tea anc sit down, yawning, at the computer. It's now a habit that I hope I'll never break.

Jean Henry Mead said...

(I make typos when I'm yawning.) :-)

Jackie King said...

Jean, So sorry I'm late answering your comment. Lately I'm always late, and I'm going to try and improve. I always love hearing from you. Thanks for responding.
Hugs, Jackie