Motivated Writing vs Disciplined Writing

Creating consistent results in writing had always proven to be the most difficult goal for me as a writer. I feel that I’m also not alone in this as other writers I’ve talked to have also struggled with achieving results. I wrote an article a while back when I heard about the idea of discipline over motivation and how that should get results and I thought I would try it. I would force myself into a disciplined routine of writing three to four hours every day rather than waiting until I felt motivated to do so. What I found was quite surprising.

For the first book I wrote, The Legend of Nariko : The Mark of Silverfrost, I wrote it purely on motivation and inspiration. I first started writing seriously in about 2011 and 2012. Anything before then was purely just scrawlings and fun doodle writings. But then I sat down and really worked on my story as inspiration came to me from music, books, and daydreaming. I came up with some of the best and most powerful moments of my book through daydreaming while listening to music. It was only after these brief times of inspiration that I would sit down and write. Aside from the anxiety of sharing my first book I ever wrote, I feel that this was probably the reason I took five to six years to finish my first book.

When I published my first book, I felt an overwhelming sense of purpose. Becoming an author was my goal in life and now I needed to finish this series I’ve started. To not do so felt like a disservice to the characters and the world I had created. As such I felt the need better myself as a writer. Five years felt too long to publish another book, I had to improve my ability to write. When I heard of the idea of discipline over motivation, I scoffed at first. The idea of forcing myself to carry out a creative task felt alien to me.

But I tried it regardless. Every day for four months I spent three hours in the morning and one to two at night. The results were quite surprising to say the least. Writing had become a matter of quantity rather than quality. I wrote whatever came to mind as I had to. No longer was I burdened to wait for inspiration to come to me, rather I forced it in order to progress forward. What happened was a great deal of world building and questions I forced myself to answer. Questions of my characters, of the world itself, that needed to be answered to progress the story. It forced me as an author to ask difficult questions of the narrative, to push past my writer’s block and work towards an answer rather than wait for it to come to me. Because of this, I was able to finish writing the second book in five months time as opposed to five years.

Disciplined writing has proven to be a difficult task. But the reward has proven to be worth the trials as now I can focus on editing my work in the hopes of publishing book 2 by the end of the year or early next year. I highly recommend a disciplined regime of writing every day to anyone struggling to finish their work. Not only has it helped me to push past my own writing block, it also helped me to grow more confident in my own ability.

I hope this helps any fellow writers struggling to finish their work 🙂

– Raphael

PS : Sorry this is a bit late! Got inspired with editing and couldn’t stop ^^”

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