Sometimes, I find it hard to be disciplined about writing, especially when I am busy with work and family. I realize that if I want to make the jump from amateur to professional, then I better pull myself together, buckle down and get the work done. Discipline takes practice and perseverance.
You can have all the talent in the world, but if you are undisciplined, nothing will get done.
I have an inclination to be lazy, especially on my days off. It is so much more appealing to faff around on Facebook or lie on the couch and read a book. But the truth is, I am absolutely miserable when I am not writing or at the end of the day when nothing has been written. It is the loss of opportunity through squandering of time. Especially when there is so much that needs to be written.
I was raised in a house where the work was done first. Always. My father used to say to the five of us: “Get your work (chores and homework) done first, then you can do what you want.” To this day, I make out a list at work and at home of things that need to be done and usually I do not fool with coworkers or do something inane until the list is done — or most of it.
I have to apply this to writing as well. Those days when I am feeling unmotivated or to be frank, just plain old lazy, I tell myself that as soon as the writing is done, I can do this this and this. Some days it requires a Herculean effort to write. However, once I am in the swing of writing, I am fine, it can be just a matter of getting started. I have to remind myself constantly that the work gets done first and then I can fool around later.
Talent + discipline + persistence = a published writer.