Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Procrastination vs. Discipline by Jan Drexler

Writing is hard.

No. Wait. Let me start over.

Disciplining myself to write is hard.

I love to write. I love to revise and edit. I love the feeling when God gives me the exact word I need to make a sentence sing.

BUT… Some days I’ll do just about anything else other than write. Do you have that same problem?

Some days the discipline of writing escapes me. It’s a battle. I stare at the computer screen. I answer emails. I scroll through Facebook. I answer more emails.

I procrastinate.

Procrastination is the antithesis of Discipline. Procrastination tells me I have plenty of time. Procrastination convinces me that cleaning the bathroom is much more important than putting words down on paper.

Procrastination tells me that today isn’t important.

But we have a way to win this battle!

Discipline is the armor of a writer. Discipline has its own set of weapons, and when I open that box, Procrastination flees!

What are the weapons of Discipline?

1) Routine. Make a schedule and keep it. When I plan a time to write, I’m more likely to stick to that plan. If my schedule says that my writing time is from 8:30 until noon every morning, then I know I’ll stick my bottom in my chair and put my hands on the keyboard.

2) Know your strengths and use them. I know there are two times in the day when I am most successful at writing, when my brain is most creative, so that’s when I schedule my writing time.

I also know I write more easily when I’ve done my homework: research, character development, and plotting. So, I make sure I have those things checked off the list when I sit down to write.

3) Treat your writing as a job. I learned this trick when I was a homeschooling mom. When a person works outside the home, their time is naturally divided into “work” and “non-work” hours. For those of us who work at home – whether it’s our primary occupation or not – we need to set aside our work time as sacred. Tell your friends not to call or stop by during those times. Don’t answer the phone. Turn off your social media notifications. Minimize interruptions where you can.

4) And that leads me to my final weapon: Be flexible. Life happens. The dog gets sick. Your child has a volleyball game. Your mom comes to visit for a week. If you can’t adjust for planned and unplanned life events, then Discipline will suffer. One unplanned dishwasher leak can throw off my schedule for days. So, when the interruption happens, take the needed time off without guilt – but then get back into your routine as soon as possible!

Do you find it hard to discipline yourself to write? What methods (or weapons!) have you found to be most effective?


Jan Drexler’s ancestors were among the first Amish immigrants in the 1700s, and their experiences are the inspiration for her stories. Jan lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband and growing extended family. She writes historical Amish fiction and is published by Revell and Love Inspired.

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Twitter: @JanDrexler
Facebook: Jan Drexler, Author

The Sound of Distant Thunder
Katie Stuckey and Jonas Weaver are both romantics. Seventeen-year-old Katie is starry-eyed, in love with the idea of being in love, and does not want to wait to marry Jonas until she is eighteen, despite her parents' insistence. So much can happen in a year. Twenty-year-old Jonas is taken in by the romance of soldiering, especially in defense of anti-slavery, even though he knows war is at odds with the teachings of the church. When his married brother's name comes up in the draft list, he volunteers to take his brother's place. But can the commitment Katie and Jonas have made to each other survive the separation?

From the talented pen of Jan Drexler comes this brand new Amish series set against the backdrop of the Civil War. She puts her characters to the test as they struggle to reconcile their convictions and desires while the national conflict threatens to undermine and engulf their community.