Inspiration Gets You Started, Discipline Gets You Finished

Inspiration is a wonderful, magical, coveted thing. Don’t we all wish that we could wake up every morning feeling inspired to write? Don’t we wish that every time we sat down in front of our computers, we had to fight to keep up with the words flowing out of us? But we all know that’s not the reality of the situation. The reality is inspiration is rare. And if you wait for it to strike before you sit down to write, you’ll never finish any project.

Inspiration is the lightning bolt of a new book idea, or a new awesome character, or a new dynamite scene. It’s motivating as hell, but it’s also, fickle, unreliable, and flaky. Kind of like that jerk of an ex you used to date. It comes over when it wants, leaves when it wants, and never asks how you’re feeling about the situation.

Professional writers know that you can’t wait for inspiration to strike in order to write. Not if you want to meet your deadlines and pay your bills, anyway. Inspiration might be what gets you started but discipline is what gets you finished. Setting up a daily routine and sticking to it. Sitting your butt down in the chair every single day, no matter how you feel about the page in front of you. Slogging through those muddled middles. Revising the same scene for the twenty-thousandth time. Discipline is the only thing that finishes a book. Inspiration has never finished anything.

So, the next time you hear yourself saying, “Ugh, I don’t want to write today.” Or, “Ugh, I’m just not feeling it this morning.” Turn on that computer. Get your butt in that chair. Show that fickle inspiration who’s boss.

Write anyway.

 

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