Writing Requires Discipline

I QuitI have taught writing for years and years and I’ve been a writer for twice that long.  I’m writing this blog post today for the writers out there who are thinking of “hanging it up”.

If you have tried your hand at this writing gig and you don’t like it, then just do something else.  The title of this blog says it all, I feel.  It takes hard work and discipline to do this, especially if you are an indie writer like me who publishes their own work.

After all, isn’t being an independent writer who publishes their own books kind of a narcissistic act?  Why in the world would anyone want to pour themselves into a task of writing page after page of prose, cranking out over 50,000 words only to have a few people read it or maybe make $100 in royalties in a year’s time?

I ask myself these questions often, and I have come to the conclusion that the reason I write is because I just love doing it, and above all, I love the discipline that it takes to keep at it.  You have to have grit to stay in there, working at it, refining it, getting caught up in the strangeness of the worlds you create, holding strangers hostage at parties telling them about these bizarre places you have invented.  You have to have determination to promote yourself and your work.  You have to have what one writer called “stick-to-itive-ness”.

You may also think: If I gave this up, I could do so many other things like look at Facebook or play video games or actually get real work done.  I always think that, but I end up writing anyway.  And then there is the idea that is kicked around in the noggin of: I won’t have to deal with all the rejection notices again.  Actually, I kind of like them.  They make a nice nest for my daughter’s bird.

I think I’ll just avoid the inevitable and continue writing.

I’ve been typing away at this blog now for a few years, and I get around 250-300 hits per day.  Not everyone who writes a blog enjoys those kinds of numbers.  Not everyone earns $100 a year in royalties (some earn a lot more).  The point is, I didn’t get here by sitting on my can and waiting for the readers to come to me.  I got out there and fought for them.  That takes discipline and drive.  I’m not saying that those who are “calling it quits” lack discipline, it’s just that maybe they have lost it for a while.  Perhaps you need a break.  Perhaps you are a talentless hack…or a narcissist…or a masochist.  No telling.

But if you do like doing this, then write on little writer.  Divorce yourself from Facebook and Twitter and even this blog for a while and get to writing.  Writers write.  If you are one then you should be doing that right now.  Writer’s block is a huge myth.  It is a refusal to use bum glue and move the fingers.  Look it up on Snopes.  Forget that.  Get to writing!

Published by Roger Colby, Novelist, Editor

Roger Colby is a novelist and teacher who has taught English for nearly two decades. He is also an avid reader of science fiction who feels, like many other sci-fi readers, that he has read everything. He writes science fiction for the reader who is looking for the next best thing, something to excite them into reading again. This blog is his journey as a writer and his musings about writing. He also edits manuscripts for a fee and is an expert at helping you reach your full potential as a writer.

3 thoughts on “Writing Requires Discipline

  1. Yes, I get days like that, when the thought of hanging up my pen really appeals. But if I’m honest, I don’t want to hang it up. I have done everything else and don’t miss any of it.
    I might be a good writer, I have no way of knowing at the moment, and I suspect that because of my inexperience in the promotion field, I may never know.
    But that won’t stop me, as I’m far too stubborn…

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