Update: Discipline is hard to come by
I’ve been disappointed with myself lately.
A few weeks ago, when my time at work was winding down, I had all these brilliant ideas brewing in my mind. I’m going to work on this, finish that, get this done, enjoy my time off, apply for some writing gigs, recommence work on my novel, start exercising regularly again, etc etc.
But when the free time rolled around at last, I found myself lacking in motivation. Well, perhaps not. Perhaps I had the motivation but just not the discipline. Rather than do something productive, I end up doing something lazy like watch TV, or watch a movie, or play video games. The weird thing is, I wanted to do all those things I had planned, but was almost afraid to start them because I knew it would take up time and it would take effort. It was easier to just put things off for another hour, another day.
So my free week rolled by, and while I did do a few things, such as get the alarm system upgraded, write to movie studios for free invite passes (got one response!), get a dental check-up (unbeknown to me I had chipped a tooth and needed drilling and filling without anesthetic (hurt like a mother), AND had to get a mouth guard made to stop me from grinding my front teeth into calcium powder during sleep), catch up with a couple of friends, read the sale contract my neighbour got me to review, and finish the books I borrowed, etc, I didn’t get to do everything I had planned.
The day just goes by so freaking quickly when you don’t have “real” work. I do a couple of blog posts here and there and suddenly, the day’s almost over. How is that even possible? And if you waste time – any time – it just makes you feel insanely guilty.
I don’t know how these professional writers/novelists manage to work from home. There are too many distractions, too many temptations, and no one to keep an eye on you. It’s just so easy to get sidetracked, and the less disciplined you become, the worse it gets.
So today I put my foot down and forced myself to be productive. So far, so good. I haven’t bludged one bit yet. I have finally finished my Taiwan Adventure posts (and created an Index to go with it on the front page), got up-to-date with my book and movie reviews (apart from the movies I watched in the last couple of days at home), and completed my first Bleacher Report National Assignment (yes, I accepted the task from the guys at BR to write on a topic they give me every week which will get a lot of exposure) on the Top 10 Most-Compelling First Round Possibilities for the 2010 NBA Playoffs. These sports posts are so time consuming because you need to put in pictures and do a lot of research and statistical analysis. But it’s fun and it’s rewarding, so I’ll keep doing them for as long as I can.
Anyway, I’ll see how I go over the next week or so. If I can replicate today’s performance I’ll be fine. Otherwise I may have to force myself out of the house to the university library or someplace else where I can focus on writing. I really need to get back on track with my novel and the new book idea, and get into the right frame of mind. I’ve been very lucky to already have a few contacts in the industry that have been terrific and willing to help me kick things off – I just need to take advantage of the opportunities, and remind myself what it is I want to do.