Choosing the Right Topic

I am always thinking about writing (whether or not I even have an audience reading my posts). It doesn't really matter to me if you are or if you aren't reading them, because I am likely going to write them anyways. Today's topics may include:


depression

immigration

grace and mercy

gratitude

self-discipline


They are all things that I have came in contact with at one point or another today - and narrowing my topic to one is highly challenging. But let's take a look at just the last one today: self-discipline (others will surface later this week).


Self-discipline is when you train yourself to do something consistently, like brush your teeth, take your medicine, or get up early. It is going for walks regardless of how warm or cold it is outside. It is writing every single day for an entire month to reach your word count goal of 50000 words in November. It is eating only the allotted calories that you allow yourself in a day. It is maintaining a schedule of some kind - and sticking to that schedule as much as possible.


Tonight, we had our annual PTA holiday party. The normal parents were there and the principal was able to make it for the second time all semester. We engaged in a great conversation. She asked, "So Brandi, how's the writing coming?" When I told her that I had written my second novel last month, she was amazed.


She asked how I had the self-discipline to do it. I said I got up really early to write and often left the house on the weekends to write. I pointed at my husband and said, "I'd tell him, 'Here, take the kids,' and I would disappear to a coffee shop. Or I would hole myself up in the basement and plunk away at the keyboard while the kids were engrossed in a television show with him."



For me, it wasn't a surprise to finish my novel during NaNoWriMo. For my dad, for my mom, and to a few others, it was a surprise. I hit the second week slump, just like everyone else. I missed my free-flow journal time and often missed my meditation too because I would be so wrapped up in writing my novel, but I always knew that I would finish.


My dad was astonished when he realized that the investment I made in my writing was between 2 and 4 hours per day for 25 days. He said, "That's a lot of time." I said, "Yeah, I think Wayne was ready for me to be done two weeks ago." My loving father said, "Well, I can see why from that perspective." But I set an ambitious goal. And I worked for it.

I even finished early. I live with the philosophy that early is on time, on time is late, and late is left behind. This could be from having a ridiculously (early) punctual mother. It could be from being a 4-Her. It could just be who I am. But, when I have a deadline - whether set by someone else or by myself, I am going to finish early if at all possible.


For time management, I am quite good at self-discipline. I generally get things done quickly and efficiently - and usually have a good balance between precrastination (a term for doing things super quickly without giving yourself a chance to think about them) and procrastination. Is there anything that helps you to have more self-discipline?

Back to ink pen journaling after #NaNoWriMo



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