What Does It Take To Complete Your Book? Key # 3: Discipline As a Form of Love

This is the third in a series of three articles: Three Keys to Completing Your Book. If you missed the first two, you can read them here.

Key # 1 is Devotion.  Key # 2 is Focus. The third key and the focus of this week’s article is Discipline.

Discipline can sometimes feel like a dirty word. It might conjure images of an army base, and the kind of discipline that’s enforced upon a soldier by an irrational external authority. If that’s what discipline is for you, you’ll be forever rebelling.

But what if discipline is an act of love?  What if it’s the greatest act of love: the power to let love guide your choices, about what you’ll do with your time, day by day, moment by moment, hour by hour. What if discipline is the way your wisdom gets to participate in your life, by allowing you to discern what you really want to do, with the precious, priceless, finite amount of time you have, while on this earth?

Is what you really want to do watch movies and eat popcorn all day?  If the true answer is yes, it might be because you’re exhausted, and need a day to relax and let go of your responsibilities.  If that’s the case, go for it, and enjoy! We all need days like that from time to time.

But if what you really want to do is spend two hours on your book, and you’re also scared, because you haven’t been writing for a while, and you’re not sure anymore you really have anything worthwhile to say, and who is going to read it anyway, so why should you waste your time…you’ve been disappointed enough already, haven’t you???

If that’s the kind of dialogue going on under the surface, then you want to call upon the most loving kind of discipline you can summon. The discipline to say, Sweetheart, I know you’re nervous, but that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with being nervous. You’re taking a risk with this book, and I think you’re very courageous for wanting to write at all!  Not everybody lets themselves feel the desire to write, when it calls to them.  You’re letting that call be heard, and I salute you!

And you know what, nervousness is also kind of normal. Everyone is nervous, getting started on something they care about. What if you just let it be, and keep going? What if you knew I’m right here beside you, cheering you on, your biggest fan, so excited, every time you make the choice to write?

Because writing is scary, and that’s why it matters so much. Writing is powerful and strong and you aren’t always used to thinking of yourself that way, but I know better.  Who am I?  Your higher self, of course. I’m the one who knows you were born for this…you were made to face this moment, or else you wouldn’t have this calling to write at all!  If you were meant to be a concert pianist, you’d have another kind of calling. But yours, my dear, is to write. That’s why it won’t leave you alone…this desire to write your book.

So let me be your friend, in discipline.  Let me remind you that discipline is just about taking a stand for this moment, and saying to all the other voices, okay, I know you’re there, but right now, I’m going to write anyway. And then you begin.

Yes, there are lots of choices to be made. Problems to be solved, about your book, and how you’re going to pull it all together, but you know what? When you’re in the creative process, you start to trust that the answers emerge, when you need them. Because creativity feeds creativity. And the creative source of all…which is the source of your writing as well…wants you to succeed.  Wants your book to be written.

But you don’t have to do it all at once, and you don’t have to figure it all out today. Today, you just have to show up for the next step, put some words down on your page, and remember your dedication to this project.  That’s all. If you do that, one day at a time, your book will start to take shape. And I’ll be here, every step of the way, to guide you, as well as to cheer you on.

Does the voice of your discipline sound like that? It can, when you come from love. And that’s what you need to cultivate—the discipline of self love, to write your book.

I’ve shared three keys with you. Have they been significant to you? Have you tried the practices I’ve suggested, to work with each of the keys?

Here’s one more:  Write yourself a love letter, about the subject of discipline. How can you be more disciplined, in your writing life, in a way that feels like discipline is an act of self love? Write about it, as a love letter to your self.

Remember: I’ve got one spot still open in my Soul Writing Manuscript Group. If you’ve got a book or a writing project you’d like to complete, get in touch with me. Send me an email at Debora@DeboraSeidman.com or just reply to this email. Tell me briefly about your project and we’ll find a time to talk.

I hope you’ve found something of value in these three keys!  I look forward to hearing from you.