The Discipline of Discipline

100 Days of Writing – Day 34

Countdown to NaNoWriMo: 16 days.

Countdown to Half Term: 5 days.

Half term is ace. After seven weeks or so of chaotic mornings (bags, lost ties, lunches, missing shoes etc), washing uniforms and sports kits, driving to and from after school clubs and the like, the boys and I are ready for a break.  We have people coming to stay, there’ll be days out and not having to drag them out of bed for a week is a lovely prospect.  But typically, during the school holidays my writing schedule goes out the window.  Despite my best efforts, despite my most resolute intentions, it just ALWAYS happens.

This time, however, I’m on a mission.  Apart from the 100 Day Challenge which I absolutely can’t mess up at this stage, NaNoWriMo is literally around the corner which I am seriously fired up for.  I’ve been planning, plotting and scheming like a trojan on Book 2, getting all my ducks, chickens and other such domestic fowl in the neatest and most comprehensive row ever created so that come Nov 1, I can hit the ground like Mo Farah on wheels with a rocket up his unmentionable.

This means that even – especially – on those days when we have guests and the temptation to do other things is at its peak, I’m going to have to dig very, very deep and find some hardcore discipline from somewhere.

I’m thinking of taking a leaf out of W H Auden’s book, who said:

“Get up early and get going at it at once, in fact, work first, and wash afterwards.”

So, the plan is to set the alarm for a couple of hours before people are likely to surface and get to my desk before I have a chance to talk myself out of it.

Two more well known quotes seem particularly pertinent right now and are worth noting if you’re struggling with writers block or are considering embarking on the NaNoWriMo journey:

“Write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you are writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.”
-Agatha Christie

“It’s a job, not a hobby. You don’t write the way you build a model airplane. You have to sit down and work, to schedule your time and stick with it. Even if it’s just for an hour or so each day, you have to get a babysitter and make the time. If you’re going to make writing succeed, you have to approach it as a job.”
-Rosellen Brown

Finally, if eloquent passive bollockings from literary giants fail to hit the spot, here is another lesser known mantra that may help in times of crisis:

“[insert own name], don’t be such a flake, get your lazy fat arse out of bed, write your book and make it really good, ok?”
– me, just now.

Come on, you can DO this. Yeah!






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