Do you find yourself inspired to start a project only to find that you lose energy and don’t want to pursue the same project even a few weeks after you started it? Do you start all guns blazing only to crash in terms of your motivational energy to complete the project? If you answered the above questions in the affirmative, believe me you’re not alone. It seems that inspiration is not enough for us to complete our projects. Yet, inspiration is certainly enough for us start a project. But over time, our inspiration for a project will turn flat and begin to dwindle down and our energies plummet. That is when we will be tempted to quit this project and start another one. What is worse, it is quite possible for us to never get back to that project, further complicating whether or not we will complete our writing projects. Obviously, if we don’t complete the writing projects that we start on a consistent basis, we won’t be productive or successful. And this, in turn, will cripple our self-confidence as writers, and make us feel as if we can’t complete any manuscripts. But this need not be the case if we realize that, although inspiration is necessary to start a project, we need more than inspiration to actually stick to a project through all the ups and downs to the point where we are successful in completing the project. What we need is the self-discipline to complete our projects. If we have self-discipline and inspiration, then we will successfully work on our projects until completion. So, what we need to stick to a project long-term is more than the fleeting feeling or emotion that is associated with the initial high that we receive when we get a new idea to write about. We need to make a commitment to the project and to have the self-discipline to slog through all the hard times—and yes, there will be quite a few such times. They are what one of my writer friends call test markers. A test marker is something that tempts you to quit or abandon your project because everything seems to be going wrong for you. Not only that, but your initial motivations probably died by now and you are merely going through the motions. So, it is much easier to simply quit. But notice that this temptation to quit is usually based on a feeling that is fleeting and temporary. If you just stand back for a few days and not quit, you will probably carry on quite well and complete the project. As we all know, quitting is not conducive to success as a writer. And if you get into the habit of quitting many of the writing projects you start, you will be frustrated and unsuccessful. So, it is important to develop the self-discipline that will take your projects from inspiration to completion. When you have self-discipline as a writer, you won’t be tempted to quit, even when everything is going wrong, because you will have a long-term plan in place for completing this project and you have committed to it. Self-discipline is not based on a feeling but it is based on a long-term attitude of commitment towards working hard to complete what you started, regardless what you feel at the moment. So, try to develop self-discipline as a writer so that you could finish writing projects that you start. Not only will this build your self-confidence as a writer, but you will also be successful. And your inspiration along with self-discipline will help you to be the most successful writer that you are capable of becoming. Commitment Versus Self-Discipline It’s not easy to become committed to writing projects by developing self-discipline and to move past the initial inspiration that motivated them to start a project. It requires more than being excited about pursuing a project. It involves making a decision to see a project through to completion, regardless of the obstacles that get in the way. Commitment and self-discipline are crucial to reaching your writing goals and becoming a self-discipline writer. Commitments become apparent when something is gut-level important. Our commitments can pave a path to success as time goes on. Ideally, commitment involves a decision to start and complete a writing project. In addition, commitment is a self-disciplined decision or choice to pursue a particular writing project. Writers need more than motivation to be successful with their writing projects. Here are a few steps to commit to writing goals. None of them merely require motivation to write.
- View writing commitments as important and not just a nice thing to do. Writing commitments should advance our writing careers. If they don’t we shouldn’t commit to them.
- Carefully reflect before committing to a writing project. Many writers commit to the wrong things. This can be frustrating and result in a lack of success. The writing goals we commit to must be instrumental to our long-term success. Don’t just set goals and then hope for the best. Assess the goals before committing to them.
- Always try to keep learning and researching as much as we can about the topic to be written about. It takes a lot of research to write a good quality book or article. Researching can also help commit to a project.
- Plan for success. Success doesn’t just happen. It takes a lot of hard work. Each step taken can lead to success, one small step at a time. We just have to plan our steps and bring them about one day at a time.
As we can see, self-discipline ensures the completion of writing goals from the most important to the least important. Self-discipline stops short-term projects from taking top priority in our writing lives. We must focus on longer projects to be successful writers. Irene S. Roth