I’ve been a writer for quite a few years now, and not only have I done a lot of writing, I’ve also done a lot of reading and learning.
And while there’s plenty of really useful advice around about how to write, to me the most important thing isn’t about the writing itself.
If you want to be a successful writer, there is one thing you need that’s far more important than anything else. It’s even more important than having the ability to write.
So what is this crucial element?
You MUST have the self disciplin needed to sit down and write because without it, you won’t even begin.
Working from home as a writer starts with having the disciplin to sit down every day and get your work done.
Self disciplin is something that all writers battle with on a daily basis. We say we love to write and yet we often lack the will-power to sit down and do it.
One Good Discipline Begets Another.
Achieving the amount of self disciplin needed to write every day starts with baby steps.
Disciplin can be mastered by starting with the small stuff, even if you start practicing disciplin in areas of your life unrelated to writing, such as walking, dieting or cleaning.
If you want to get more exercise by walking every day, start by setting aside time to walk and then actually put your shoes on and step out the door every day.
If you want to eat a healthier diet or lose weight, stop buying junk food and take aways. Instead spend more time browsing in the fruit and vegetable aisle at the supermarket or shop at an organic store.
And it’s easy to discipline yourself to do more cleaning and sweeping at home. Just don’t allow yourself to sit down every night till it’s done, or get up earlier to do it. Paying more attention to how clean your home, car and yard are is easy because the results are instant and therefore more satisfying - and cleaning more helps with fitness at the same time.
So start exercising more disciplin in other areas of your life, even if it’s doing something like putting dirty clothes straight in the hamper and washing the dishes straight after a meal.
Soon, these small disciplines will seep through into other areas of your life, including your writing.
Why Your Muse Doesn’t Show Up
Your muse won’t arrive until you do. This is a maxim that the horror writer Stephen King lives by. He believes that his inspiration doesn’t show up for work until he does.
Most people think it’s the other way around, that they can’t sit down and write until they feel inspired.
But the opposite is actually true.
You won’t feel inspired to write until you sit down and start writing.
Nothing Great Is Achieved Without Disciplin
It’s easy to be lazy, to be a bad parent or a bad co-worker or a bad partner. It’s easy to sit on the couch all night watching TV.
But nothing great will come from these lazy habits. I don’t know of any successful people who watch a lot of television.
Yet a disciplined person who gets up early every day and works hard, has greater peace of mind, achieves more and so feels good about themselves.
And they’re disciplined in every area of their personal lives which easily transitions to their work.
So challenge yourself. Get off the couch. Stop checking your emails all the time. Quit surfing the net.
Begin a disciplined lifestyle.
Your writing depends on it.
If you’re a writer who needs help in being creative and writing more, the secret is to relax more. But not by sitting and doing nothing, but by having more peace of mind; a quiet mind.
Relax and unwind with the sounds of “Creative Spark” and “Razor-Sharp Focus” audios while you write, and let your creative mind flow.
Download a free demo and start writing now.
Get your screenplay on the track to success with the Fundamentals of Screenwriting online course at Screenwriters University.
This four-week class is the perfect introduction to the fantastic world of writing a script, from the fundamentals of the story down to the revision process. In this course, you will gain the tools to structure your scenes, your acts, and your plots.
At each step, you will receive comprehensive feedback on assignments targeted to develop the skills needs to thrive as a screenwriting.