There are those in the writing and blogging business that make it their mission to teach those of us with limited time how to get more writing into their schedule. After one year of listening to their podcasts, reading theirs blogs, and going to their seminars I have found that it all boils down to one thing, getting up early.
There is the 4AM Writer, the 5AM Writers Club, and The Early To Rise Experience by Andy Traub to name a few. All of them extol the virtues and benefits of getting up before dawn. They romanticize the padding down the hall, grabbing a cup of coffee and finally sitting down to write the next great American novel.
And frankly I hate them all.
Because they’re right and it puts me in a quandary since I hate mornings and I’m pretty sure the feeling is mutual. There is nothing quite as painful as pulling myself out of a warm bed at what feels like the middle of the night and thrusting myself into a cold house. I barely function well enough to make a cup of coffee so how am I supposed to hold a pen or worse even open my laptop and type? My brain doesn’t even wake up until 9 AM. But, after looking at my schedule from every conceivable angle, I have found I have only one choice if I want to really hone this craft and write everyday. I must make peace with mornings.
Now when I say morning, I still mean 6AM. I’m not quite to the 5AM stage yet and I’m sure hell not going to try the 4AM.*Baby steps* So this week, with the help of Jeff Goins’ MY 500 Words Challenge, an app called Lift and oodles of caffeine, I have started the journey to make this a discipline.
The Pain (and Reward) of Discipline
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. – Hebrews 12:11 NIV
I know this verse is talking more about God disciplining those He loves, but I think as we discipline ourselves the same can be said, “It’s not pleasant at the time, but it will produce a harvest”.
I remember training for a ten mile race. I hated it. I hated getting my running clothes on, I hated knowing how tired I was going to be when I was done, I hated how my body would ache and I really hated how I would probably get a migraine when it was over. There were days it would take me a full hour just to prep for a run. I would find so many other things to do out of sheer procrastination. Then I would run and yes, everything I feared would happen did happen, but along with the pain, aches and migraines came an overwhelming confidence. There was a pride in knowing I was in control and my body would have to obey me. There was a high as each week I ran a bit farther and I could feel myself get stronger. Those things were addicting and that’s the harvest of those who are disciplined. It’s that “high” I need to remember as I pull myself out of my warm bed every flippin’ chilly morning to write. I’m doing this to be a more consistent blogger. I’m doing this in order to finish the writing the novels I have started so many years ago. I’m doing this to become a better writer. It’s a joy and sense of hope when I force myself to do something I don’t want to do. I feel empowered. I feel stronger. I feel as though I can do anything, and with that comes the knowledge that the dreams I am striving for are a little bit closer today.
What about you? Do you want to become a more disciplined writer? Are you trying to save money for trip and need to be more disciplined in saving? Or maybe you’ve always wanted to run a marathon but haven’t started training. How can you become more disciplined in your life in order to get closer to a dream?