by Jackie King
Discipline is something that I must strive for each day. This admirable character trait doesn't come naturally to me. Sitting or lying quietly, my head in the clouds, making up stories; comes naturally. I have always had imaginary friends and enemies living inside my imagination.
No matter how far back I look (and I can remember back to about the age of two) this was my entertainment. We had no TV, nor even a radio. No one had television, and we were too poor to afford a radio. We borrowed books from the library, but owned none of our own. I told myself stories each morning as I awakened and each night as I dozed off. This was my normal.
Later I realized that if I wrote these stories down on paper, edited them carefully, then I could earn money. But the writing down on paper (or keying them into a computer) is a process that requires discipline. And discipline, as I told you in my last post, isn’t a natural inclination for me. But it’s a very necessary quality for any writer who wants to earn a living.
When I first quit my day job (also called retirement), I worked out a system to brainwash myself into writing first thing in the morning. I was already accustomed to putting on my makeup and going to work. Figuring that, like Pavlov’s dog, I was already conditioned by this routine; I continued to put on my war-paint, sit down before my computer, and key in the stories.
This worked very well until (after 40 years in the same house) I decided it was time to move. The motivating factor: If I didn’t have to cook, wash dishes, clean, and see about the upkeep of my 4-bedroom house, I’d have more time to play with my imaginary friends.
At least that was the plan.
Alas, as every writer knows, even the dullest of life’s tasks can become a siren song, luring a girl away from her keyboard. Address have to be changed, pictures cry to be hung on white walls, untidy drawers seem to become an urgent task. Even to even to a woman with a vast tolerance for dust bunnies, such temptations arise.
This could be called Writer’s Block, but that would be a lie. It’s nothing but a pure lack of self-discipline.
I may be a slacker, but I try not to lie…at least not to myself.
So in my ongoing struggle for discipline, I have decided to use my posts to record my progress. If anyone in cyberland feels a kinship to this sort of problem, whatever it is that you struggle with on a daily basis, I’d like to know about your stumbling block. Doesn't matter if it's exercising, dieting, controlling your temper, let's work together. Perhaps we can start a sort of Discipline-Challenged Anonymous.
Let me know what you struggle with on a daily basis and your progress. I want to know that I’m not the Lone Ranger here in Okie Land.