Sunday, June 2, 2013

Creating Discipline All Year Round!

The first day I started revising, after I pushed through my nerves and sat at my computer and crossed the start line, I think I felt something like this: "Wow, this feels so good! I'm so glad to be back in my story. I missed my characters. I really love this. What a surprise! Maybe revision won't be as bad as I thought!" 

Several days later, my thoughts settled somewhere in the land of, "Hmm, this is actually not so fun. It's kind of hard. I don't really know what I'm doing. I have my lists, sure, and I've done this before, but do I really know how to do this?" 

A few more days later, after several days of work and evening activities, and a fun weekend, this is what I am now thinking: "I need discipline!" 

The funny thing about life is that time just speeds by. In high school and college, I remember so many adults talking about life after school — how time just flies by and weeks become months and soon enough you look back and several years have passed. I always felt kind of disconnected from that idea, and slightly tired of feeling as though all these people were trying to preach to us 'youth' about how we should enjoy the time while we have it. But now, at the still-young-but-wiser age of twenty-four, I understand this sentiment better. When you go to work every day, each week, months can suddenly disappear. It's June, already? we all say. And when there is no forced structure of semesters and class deadlines and summers off, one season flows into another and into the next. 

Time passes quickly. So if your not careful with your work, you, and I, can lose a whole lot of time that leads to a whole lot of work not getting done. 

I know I've only lost a week, really. But this morning, I was shocked to realize just how much revising I did not do this week. Yikes! I don't want every week to be like that. In fact, I can't afford for every week to be as lax. I have to stick to some sort of schedule. And while it can be more relaxed and fluid than the one I had while in school, I can't let it go entirely. Not if I want to have specific writing goals. Not if I want to continue and produce a lot of work each year. 

Summer is a hard season. We all want to be outside, cookouts abound, and naps and ice cream just seem so enticing. Summer is specifically a hard season for writing because swinging in the park and meeting with friends and general relaxing are so much more fun than revising. But discipline is an all year requirement. Whether you are big into writing or exercising, perfecting a craft or learning a new skill, stick to it-ness is something we all need. 

So this week, I've decided I'm going to write out my revising schedule in advance. I've set specific goals, already made some social plans so I know just which days I'll be busy and what time of the day I should set aside for writing, and mapped out some revision goals for the next few weeks. To some, this may sound silly, or even too rigid. But I need to be committed to my work. I need to get revision done so I can send my work out to agents, and so I can start on my next project. 

Rest is important. I know that. Especially after two intense years of work and schooling. But discipline is really the only way to make sure we all achieve our goals. So while I hope to enjoy the summer, I also hope to get work done, too. Wishing you luck! I'll report back later, hopefully to say I've made lots and lots of progress!  

No comments:

Post a Comment