Sunday, May 22, 2005

Writing Discipline

Writing, like any other job, has different elements to it. Some we enjoy more than others. Of course it's individual, but regardless it is the case. So like any other job, discipline is important. When professional and successful writers keep emphasizing the importance of writing, they don't mean only for the sake of practicing and improving, they also mean for the sake of discipline. If writing is your intended profession, then it needs to be treated as such. If you had had a 9-5 job, you would work every day. Same with writing.
I'll share my discipline with you:
  • Writing - I write a set amount of words a day
  • Rewrites - once I finished with a piece, I set myself an amount of time for rewrites and editing and I keep to it
  • Submissions - I always have a set amount of my material submitted at a set amount of places, for example: I always have 10 queries out and 3 short stories
  • Research - depening what I need the research for (research for a fiction story is different from article research where your facts have to be supported by good resources) I spend an alloted time to learn a subject, look for information and collect it
  • Market research - once a week I do a bit of market research to find new places to submit my material
  • Writers' group - once a month
  • Blog - daily


  • Deadlines - Once I get an assignment, it precedes everything else. This includes editing such as rewrites for an editor, or proofing the manuscript before print. If you're actually getting paid for your work, you'd better do the work.

Of course, once you get successful there will be more elements to your writing career such as book signings, book tours, book readings etc. Again, some more fun than others. But let's start at the beginning.

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