Life is all about discipline. Everything you do in your entire life requires discipline and you can only be successful if you have discipline. Especially when it comes to writing. 

Last month, I read the blog of a young writer who knew writing required discipline, but she really had no idea of how this concept of discipline worked.

Her idea of how writers and discipline worked was just a little flawed. She decided she was going to write a complete novel of 100,000 words in only 50 days.

Her idea was to write 2000 words a day and as she explained it, that only amounted to about 10 pages a day.

No problem!


Whew! Someone needs to tell her professional writers average about three pages per day. Now, this includes writing, editing, and re-writing and possibly doing the whole process over again. But seriously, professionals only make about three pages per day.

This young writer also believed she could keep up the pace seven days a week. I think she fell into the belief of many in the public who think writing is not a real job, that it is something very easy to do. And if it is that easy, a writer shouldn’t have too much trouble working seven days a week for an indeterminate amount of time. Right?

I wanted to write her and give her some encouragement and tell her she should tone it down, just a little. I wanted to say I admired her for trying, but not to be disappointed if she missed the mark.

And then I thought of my own goals with this blog – to include an entry every day. Lofty goal, indeed. Just as lofty as the young writer I thought of counseling.

So, I guess l have to ask, Will the readers forgive me if I don’t make it?  As with all writers, missing a deadline is a real concern. I think about this as I post this entry only a few hours before my self-imposed deadline. 

The more important question is: Can I forgive myself for not reaching my goal?  Well, it all depends on discipline.

I think I need some guest writers.


© 2010 J. Clark

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6 Responses to Discipline

  1. flyinggma says:

    Discipline is important in reaching your goals but I think you have to look at in light of your priorities. Where in your list of priorities for your life is this blog? Is it first in your list then perhaps it is important to post everyday. If it is not, how is the time spent on writing for your blog affecting those things that are higher on your priority list?

    We all have the same twenty four hours in each day. There is a limited number of hours available to accomplish our priorities each day. If we spent too much time in one area of our life less is spent in other areas. When I began my blog I had the same goal as you to post something each day. I found that hammering out a post for each day was taking more time than I wanted it to for its position in my priority list.

    The readers will forgive you if you don’t post everyday but can you forgive yourself? I have another blog that I read and he posts once a week. At first I kept checking to see if he posted daily and then figured out it was just once a week. I still read his posts because I find them interesting to read and thought provoking as well. Check him out at http://TEStazyk.com.

    I don’t know if there is an official “rule book” for blogging but I’m pretty sure that it is supposed to be enjoyable to participate. Are you having fun yet?

    • Joe Clark says:

      Jeanne, I was born having fun! (And I have never stopped!) It is all a matter of balance and as you say, it is about priorities (Ooh – another blog? Thanks.) And trust me, one day the readers will be expecting something on the blog and there will be nother there. It will happen when something else is more important and has priority…

  2. You can’t produce anything without it…but…you can easily burn out if you aim too high. I just finished my second non-fiction book and did nothing for a month but write, usually about 3 to 4 hours a day. I couldn’t work longer than that. Writing is tiring! Now I’m “only” writing four blogs and magazine articles again — and still really tired, so will soon take two weeks off.

    That young writer has no idea! Better to write when you are fresh and really have something useful and interesting than to bore your readers, or never find any.

  3. Joe Clark says:

    Thank you for stopping by the blog and taking the time to comment. Burn out is a problem for many in various fields, I am sure. Have fun on your two weeks off!

  4. Catana says:

    Your young writer will undoubtedly burn out before reaching 100,000 words, but it’s more likely to be from lack of material than lack of energy. The younger you are, the less experience you have of life, and the less you have to write about. Unless, of course, your inspiration is fantasy, and your own writing has nothing to do with real life. But 2,000 words a day is not that big a deal for many professional writers. That was Stephen King’s daily goal when he was still churning out novels on a regular basis. Maybe he’s slowed down by now. Freelance writers can turn out several times that number most days. And anyone who’s participated in National Novel Writing Month knows that it’s possible to exceed whatever limitations you might have thought were in your way. And it does help to be a fast typist.

  5. Joe Clark says:

    You have hit the nail right on the head – this is a topic on which I wrote early on in this blog series: http://joeclarksblog.wordpress.com/2010/08/05/life-experience/.

    I agree it is beneficial to be a fast typist, but the new speech recognition software also offers opportunities to do fast work. However, you have to be capable of organization and outlining in your head, along with inserting punctuation. It can be challenging, but once you become accustomed to it, it is a great way to write.

    Thanks for your comments, it is always good to hear from other writers.

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