Some say that the main thing a writer needs in order to succeed is talent. Although this is certainly true, a close second for the most needed asset in writing is good old-fashioned discipline. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t put the pen to the paper then nobody will ever know it.
Different Types of Writing Discipline
There are many different types of writers and many different types of discipline that will work for each writer. One form of discipline that may work very well for one writer will not for another, so it is important to search for the level of writing discipline that will work for you.
If you do not suffer from writer’s block or lack of inspiration, set a writing goal for yourself each day. If you are working on a novel, for example, try writing one perfect page per day. This may not sound tough, but you will find that it is quite a challenge. Doing so requires discipline and builds up your disciplinary skills. And just think, if your novel is 250 pages, then in less than a year that first draft will be completed.
Other writers spend weeks, months, or even years waiting for inspiration. If they attempt to write during periods of non-inspiration then the results do not come out well. If you are one of these writers, it doesn’t mean you can’t develop a disciplinary routine. Try to set a goal to write something during a specific timeframe. For example, start a novel outline and vow to complete one outlined chapter per week. Working on this outline may get you excited and thinking about the plot and inspire actual writing of the story.
Your Favorites Had Discipline, Too
If you’re skeptical or hesitant about applying discipline to your writing or are simply trying to come up with a method that works best for you, look to your favorite writer for help. Do you love Ernest Hemingway? Keep in mind that Hemingway, when working on a novel, would write religiously each day from just after breakfast until well into the night. Is Philip K. Dick a favorite of yours? When working on a novel he would write from the time he woke up until the time he went to sleep, pausing only to eat.
Behind every talented writer is the discipline needed to get that talent down on the page properly. You already know that you have the talent; now adopt the discipline to reach your desired accomplishments as a writer.