I think I thought of the subject for this article about four months ago. Maybe more. And even while writing this right now (an hour away from being allowed to go home on a work day so slow that it’s hard to not nod off), I’m clicking through tabs instead of finishing the paragraph. I may have a problem.
Finally starting a piece on self discipline for @persephone_mag. Let's see how long it takes me to finish it.
— Vanessa (@metdeeues) September 30, 2015
(somehow it helps to put my writing plans on Twitter)
I want to start by saying I’m not 100% completely without discipline, and I also know how rewards work. I feel bad after missing a personal (writing) deadline, and if I don’t want to eat [X] for a day or week, I won’t. Because following up on your promises can be pretty satisfying, look how much in control I am.
No, the spot that lacks the most self discipline is the work place. Which can end you in some tight places if “freelance journalist” is one of your employ options. For sure, it started as a back up, but when jobs get tighter and you find something to write about, you have to do something to move from wanting to doing. To contacting people, offering your ideas, creating your work. The same with finding new employers, new ways of publishing and networking and inspiring. It’s not just a first step, but several steps after that one, and starting to walk is always more of a hassle than staying put.
But even when there isn’t the selling-yourself part, I find it a challenge to keep producing non-fictional work. This can very well be because I still don’t believe in it. Why produce something no one’s demanding? Is there honestly a chance I will leave a mark with this? Do I even want to leave a mark? With an employer, he or she is the responsibility, you’re delivering for them because they’re telling and paying you to do so. Self-employment needs to (seemingly) come with something else.
In the end, it turns out it’s more self confidence I lack than self discipline. And yet, I already planned to write two more articles. Because I believe you can train yourself in everything. Watch this space.