Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Desperately Seeking Discipline

by Jackie King

The most successful authors I know all share one trait. Self-discipline. Discipline is more essential for a writer than creativity. Discipline is to be desired above either talent or creativity.
A disciplined individual, who decides to write, can learn fiction and nonfiction techniques and master the craft. She/he can learn basic plot types and can use these tools to practice creating stories. Creativity can’t be taught, but a clever person could learn character development, basic plot formation and then learn to apply these techniques to produce an entertaining story. And then another entertaining story.

A creative individual, who writes only when she/he feels inspired, will be lucky to finish even one book, much less enough work to form a career. Inspiration is a fickle work tool. And many editors and publishers tend to agree with me. Mine is included in that group. Regardless of the talent involved, before a work can be edited and published, it first must be completed. That’s where discipline comes in handy. And, oh, how I wish that quality was my long suit. But alas, it is not.
So each day I must strive to put my behind in the chair that sits in front of the computer, my fingers on the keys, and coax pouting characters to come out and play.
These characters, like cats that have been left behind while the family vacations, are angry and refuse to acknowledge my presence. To be honest, I don’t blame them, and must continue paying penance until I am forgiven. Let’s hope that is soon.


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