The Art of Discipline

clockDecember 1, 2016 I made a choice. To be fair, I decided earlier that week that it was time for me to take my writing to the next level. I vowed to attempt to wake early and get to my computer a wee bit before the family rose and try to get a few words that were rattling around in my brain and fold them into a story I had been toying with off and on for some time.

The spark was magnificent. As the words were exploding from my fingertips I realized, in those moments, I wrote without guilt. It was my time. My house was silent, the only creature stirring was myself and my faithful, yet annoying Dachshund, Dash. She was snoozing louder than I like to admit for her sake while snuggled behind me acting as a heating pad on the chilly Arizona morning. Yes, you may laugh it was about forty-five degrees.

As I sat weaving my tale and when the rustling began another room and the house began to wake,  I knew soon I would be on the world’s clock. I scurried to pump out a few more words, and finally I was torn away from the images in my head and left longing for more. The remainder of that first of December two thousand and sixteen I though back to my morning rise and I could not shake the story. It was there, it begged me to return to it. That is when I decided to do it again, wake early I mean.

Thus day two of my discipline,  I struggled to rouse myself at what I believed to be an ungodly hour of 7:30 am. Before you tisk or shake your head at my idea of ungodly hour, you must understand I am one that is up until the wee hours toiling away at my work.  I often am scratching my head when the sensible people are all yawning and longing for the siren song of their pillows.  For me, waking early to do this thing, this writing was a true struggle.

However, once I sat and the blinking curse was moving rapidly across my screen, it was exhilarating. I forgot about the hour.  I felt alive in those moments that slipped too quickly by and myself again,  another day I said to myself I will try again tomorrow. I woke a third day, albeit not without a good fight from my covers to keep their hold on me. It was not long after this third day that found myself awakening  without the aid of any of the several alarms I had set.

I discovered over those days of December, a month that shows no mercy, that my words words became stronger, the story clearer, and my heart happier for it.  One may say, that because I have gained so much joy from it that it is simply a discovery, not truly a discipline, but let me assure you, it is indeed a discipline.

I set a course that day, an undertaking of some magnitude.  I was not just writing a story but rewriting my own. I fight the same demons as you. Those fears that creep in as we undertake something new. In this new discipline, I took on all the frightening things of my mind, those things horror stories are made of and began to open myself up to them.  Fears so deeply rooted that I am still not sure how to battle them.  It is my discipline that will see me through.

Each day I use this discipline to  chip away at the fear of failure, self doubt and worse yet of disappointment. Inside my choice to wake and make something of my longing to put pen to page by means of the art of discipline I achieve in creating a mind of can do’s verses the devils of can nots.  A novel, a picture book, poem or any form I can put out my truth, enables me to hone my skill and take on the ugly giant that is lurking about the recesses of my mind seeking to hold me down again and steal away this hope, this thing of joy, my dream.

I will succeed dear giant of doom, because each day I practice the art of  discipline and you shall shrink eventually  you shall be cast into the void that is prepared for you by the art of discipline.

Ia m stronger. I am a writer. I finally have the piece to my missing puzzle, and no more will I be held down. I will write. It is after all, my art.

 

NaNoMoExDec = National No More Excuses December

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) occurs in November every year. If you are not familiar  with this event,  it is a time of year that accomplished and  aspiring novelist have a mental break and attempt to write a novel in 30 days. Yes, you heard me a novel in 30 days. I totally ignored NaNoWritMo this year, like straight up ignored it.  On December 1, 2016  I decided I was tried of excuses. I claim that I am a writer, but have I taken the steps to actually be that person?

I love working with my husband and I love being a mom, but in my heart deep down where no one has access but me I know there is a writer.  I have scribbled in journals and played with prose my entire life. I have volumes of hidden thought and stories. I even write my prayers.

After 2016 NoNaWriMo month passed away  gently and mercifully into the night, I was working on my planner, (yes I am a planner person and I use stickers and washi tape to make it beautiful), and thinking how it is almost time to write out those New Year’s resolutions.  Something came over me, I felt the cold fingers of fear wrapping around my hope for a successful new year, what if I fail again? Another year, the paper still blank my stories still hidden deep inside.  I felt tears pushing up and my eyes stung, I realized if I am ever going to accomplish my desire to be a published writer, I must conquer my fear.

It is stifling, it is paralyzing, it holds me down, it causes my chest to tighten and sends me seeking frantically other ways to fill the void . It is the fear of rejection and possibility of truly being a failure that resonates so loudly that I have spent years refusing to comply with my God-given urge to write. I am not one that most people would peg as fearful or even more so, a failure.  Truth, I am when it comes to sharing my words all these things. I am horrified at the thought of not being good enough. To fulfill that one longing in my heart that would expose me and allow others to see I am not as tough as I pretend.  I simply don’t talk about it. I am surprised that I am sharing it now. It’s hard to be honest with yourself to lay bare the possibilities of your own failure.

I guess what I am trying to share is all people have fear.  It is how you deal with it that matters.  I have decided that I am going to face it, and trust that God gave me a gift and to not use it is actually failure.

In an effort to begin the process of overcoming my fear, I made a tracker for my writing, and put it in my planner.  I set a writing goal of 1500 words a day, takin

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This tracker is available for download for members of Write.Now.  My facebook group for writers.

g Sundays off of course. I decided to wake up at 7:30am and conquer my writing time first thing, and not allow myself any excuses. (NaNoMoExDec = No More Excuses December). Additionally, I created a private group on Facebook (Write.Now.) Send me  request and you can be added, to encourage and hold other writers accountable.  I made this declaration on the 1st of the month, right smack dab before all the craziness of the holidays.GUESS WHAT!

I am happy to report that just a few days before the hustle and bustle comes to a conclusion, I have met and surpassed my goals. I have over 45,000 words in my first draft and of those 45,000 words I have written 31,260 have met the page since December 1.  In addition to the my Sunday off policy, I have had to take 2 days of travel time which left me doing editing for an hour and one day I simply had to take off because of prior commitments.  That adds up to 16 days of writing to put 31,260 word on the page.

I am sharing this in hopes that it can inspire some other passion, to let you know you can do it. It is a choice to allow your fear to keep you from blooming into the beautiful, amazing, fantastic, purposeful human being you were created  to become.