Discipline and the Writer: For 2014 I haven’t had the former so I haven’t really been the latter.

Writing is haaaard. It’s something you really shouldn’t do unless you are driven to do it and even then, you need to exercise a lot of discipline. It’s easy to get distracted or to accidentally put everything first because you think (OK, *I* think) that you just need to get these necessary everyday things out of the way first.

This can be something like the dishes, taking out the trash or some other chore-related activity. My personal favorite (less “favorite,” more “often used”) distraction activity is dealing with my various digital devices. I am in the middle of a slow, multi-year process of turning my old VHS tapes and DVDs into mp4s playable on the average smart device. It seems as though, at least once a week, one or more of my hard drives run out of space. I will spend hours during a day rearranging stuff so that things I am converting will fit on my media drives. Yes, I even delete some things if I absolutely have to.

Of course, there is also the most infernal distraction activity of them all: the dayjob.

Yep, I mash the two words together–it’s not a “day job” but a “dayjob.” The idea is to denote it as something different from what you do for your living–this is just what you spend your day doing. Your life should be spent writing. Taking away the space in between the two words makes the threat of that first world even more clear. You cannot trust the dayjob!!

2014 started for me with the idea that I should write something–anything–everyday. Like NaNoWriMo 2013, however, I just couldn’t get my shit together this year until 7 days in. Then, a few days after that, I got sick for a week. While I was sick I felt strongly that if I tried to do anything at all creative during that time, I’d only make myself more sick. So, I held off on doing anything but watching a lot of TV.

So, now I’m back, feeling healthy again and all I have to show for this year so far (and for my resolution to write something every day) are three finished essays and this one that I will finish soon.

This is not acceptable. I need to be writing. It’s who I am and I consider myself very driven and yet, I have this paltry pile of almost-nothing to show for the twenty days that is this year.

So, 2014 will have to be the year I prove to myself that I am a disciplined writer. I need to use this blog to track my progress writing something every day–even if it’s just a paragraph.

So, here it is. For today, January 20, 2014, I polished an essay and wrote this post. That’s quite a few paragraphs, right?

I’ve also been suffering from the urge to write some good old fiction for several days now and I hate that my laziness has slipped me away from my keyboard each day in favor of the TV shows I actually still watch. See that? Another distraction activity.

I also need to read more–but that is fodder for an entire other post.