Thursday, August 17, 2017

Finding Discipline to Write

Some people are disciplined. They can get up at 5 am each morning. They go for a jog every day after work. They spend 8 hours, 6 days a week in front of the computer, spinning stories one right after the other.  They are good at doing the hard thing every single day in order to achieve their goals.
And then there are those of us who are not quite as adept at self-discipline. We aren’t even good at setting goals, much less attaining them.  We try. We even try hard. But somewhere down the line we go back to our old ways of doing things, garnering no success along the way. In fact, the only thing we accomplish is guilt for failing once more.

I think I’ve found the problem - at least for me and my ever-recurring cycle of one step forward and one step back. It’s nothing new, but it is not always easy to obtain.


I need accountability to be able to sit my behind in the chair and write when I don’t feel like it. I need accountability to lose weight and get on the scale. I need someone checking in on me, asking if I’d met my goals.

If I don’t have that, then I slip back into doing what I always did before. When I get writer’s block or don’t like the blank page, I go watch Netflix instead (in the name of research, of course). Instead of logging my food into My Fitness Pal, I go to the fridge and eat a spoonful of ice cream. One little spoon doesn’t count, does it? It is my reward for doing all that research on Netflix!

The difficulty is finding someone to keep you accountable. I am fortunate to have a mentor this year for my writing. I have learned so much about setting goals and maintaining them. I’ve learned I can do so much more than I think I can when given a little kick in the behind. I only have her for a year, but I am doing everything in my power to learn and grow, praying that the lessons and discipline I learn this year will stick with me forever.

So how do you go about finding someone to be accountable to?

Many times you find someone organically. Maybe in your circle of friends, someone is going through the same thing you are and needs someone to bounce ideas with.

You could always put a call out for a critique partner who writes in your genre. This is definitely something I need to do. It is scary putting yourself out there, but the rewards of finding a good fit would be worth the risk. The ACFW organization has a critique pool and many have found partners within that group.

Network with writers at conferences and online. It could be an experienced writer sees potential in you and takes you under her wing.

Above all, pray about it. Pray that God Spirit within you will spur you toward discipline. I Timothy 1:7 says this: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

We have His Spirit in us, full of power that gives us this self-discipline. We can overcome our weakness through the strength within us. His strength.

We can sit and write. We can overcome the blank screen. We can write every single day. We can, because He enables us.

What are you doing today to make your dreams come true? 
What are you implementing in your daily life that will help you meet your goals? 


Sherrinda Ketchersid is a born and bred Texan, preacher’s wife, mother to 4 children, and secretary at public elementary school. With the children grown and out of the house, she weaves tales of fierce knights and their ladies in a time where men were warriors and women had to be strong enough to keep them in check.

After taking time off from writing, she has returned with a new motto in place to spur her on. “Writers write. Everyone else makes excuses.” ~Jack Bickham.  No excuses this time. She is weaving her love of romance with history to bring joy and the hope of love to those who may one day read her stories.

You can connect with her through:

Personal blog:
Twitter: @sherrinda
Instagram: @sherrinda


Glynis said...

I have SERIOUS discipline problems. Unless I have a deadline, put on me BY SOMEONE ELSE, no writing is getting done. I think your tips here are wonderful. It's time for me to get serious about accountability. Thanks for sharing, especially that quote by Jack Bickham. I've got to blow it up and put it somewhere I will read it every day.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

I am soooo with you, Glynis! I do much better if someone is giving me a goal or deadline. It takes effort and consistency, but we can do it! ;)