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Discipline (Yuck, I mean yeah!), Do it, and Be Seen

I keep a writing log. Time in, Time out; the page I start on, how many words I wrote, how much time I spent doing research. It’s not a hobby; it’s a job.

If I want the muse to come to me, I have to be serious about making a place for her. Keeping a log helps me stay accountable. It may help me see that I wrote more than I thought. Maybe, it helps me have a secret audience of angels that notices how much time I spent writing. Maybe those angels will send me gems because they know I will appreciate them. Perhaps it’s just simple behavior modification. It works for diets, athletes, executives, and yes, it works for writers.

If you want to write a novel, or a short story, or a blog, or a song, or a witty joke on a cocktail napkin, get in the habit of keeping a consistent time carved out for writing and logging in your time. People often ask me where I get my ideas. Getting ideas is the easy part. Sitting down day after day, having discipline, being willing to let your work be seen, your heart opened and shared, that’s the hard part.

If you want to be a writer, you can sit alone. At some point, you will have to be brave. Here’s the drill. Breathe, space out, believe, breathe again, log in, have discipline, create, have more discipline, go for the jugular and write, write, write, don’t stop, feel the resistance (which is a big, fat, awful bully) but write more anyways. Log out. Congratulate yourself. Maybe indulge in the bribe. Rinse, repeat.

Almost anything is easier. If you want to be a writer, a real writer, a creative rock star for yourself and others, you need to write. It takes discipline to just do it. Write junk. Write crap. You can always edit later. Just write. If you put in the time, you will have the pages. It’s simple. All that really stands in the way of you and the writing life is yourself. Which is pretty much how it is with all our goals, isn’t it?

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