Olympic athletes are showing the world what it takes to put on big girl panties and bring home the gold. They are excellent examples of dedication, determination, sportsmanship, and deception.
Feel free to pull your inspiration where you find it.
I sit in the LazyBoy with a fist full of nachos and I’m almost inspired to run some hurdles right here over the brand new sofa. And then lie about it.
Instead, I spent the last couple of weeks rolling around in self-doubt, apprehension, and vacillation, waging a war against procrastination that greater genius’ than I have succumbed to. I needed to blog, and every atom of my being was refusing to do it.
Wallowing in pity for my motivationally challenged self, I took a long hard look at Rio and found the missing link to my success.
Disciplined athletes will be on the ice with a puck between their teeth at 4am every day for years to get the job done. Some authors couldn’t sit down to write until after 10pm and typed during the graveyard shift.
They just choose a time and show up. How hard can it be?
So three weeks ago, I dusted off my alarm clock. I’ve been waking up every day at 6am, trying to find a routine that will put me in my writing place and let me tell you, it’s an utter failure.
Discipline at 6am looked like this: me, drinking mug after mug of hot tea trying to wake up until it was suddenly time to go to my day job. Making tea takes hours if I wake up at 6am, and three and one half minutes if I wake up at 8am.
Do the math.
So I tried sitting up at 11pm the night before a deadline. My entire body screamed for my memory foam mattress while waiting for brilliance to appear on the page. Nope. Brain dead.
I tossed the alarm clock and made dream boards, surrounding myself with success stories.
They taunt me as I stare at the empty page.
Janet E. looks down her nose and says, “I have discipline and the books to prove it. Just what are you frittering away at, there?”
“Don’t quit your day job,” she suggests, before fading into the wall.
Maybe I need some real live writers in my life instead. At least I can’t make up their commentary.
There is a guy I’m thinking of. A retired police detective lieutenant ex-Marine, to be exact.
He’s published his second crime novel and submitted a third, working full time and getting up at 4am every day to write. I met him briefly at an author interview and the man is just oozing with discipline.
I almost reached out and contacted him, but trepidation saved the day.
I can just see it.
You meet for coffee and automatically sit up straight and chew with your mouth closed. Black coffee. Gluten free bran muffins. Hard metal chair.
Next to his writing that drips with murder, mystery and intrigue, my blog looks like little pink dandelion fluffs.
His protagonists are sharp, driven and living on the edge of danger and my subjects skip down the yellow brick road wondering why the sky is blue, and not really concerned about it either way. For all she knows, the sky is purple and wouldn’t that be fabulous?
“What is your genre?” he’ll ask, and his eyes imply that you are not only under oath, but attached to a lie detector machine.
“Okay, well, my blog is mostly humor,” I begin, but his face hasn’t cracked a smile since….so I continue, “but it goes into family and homemaking a little, too, and travel. And relationships occasionally.” It occurs to me that even my genre has no discipline.
“I’m writing a book too,” I mention, in an effort to validate myself as a writer, “it’s a Christian novel.” Should I throw in some dark angst and a little violent goat discrimination so he’ll take it seriously?
“And another one, that is a chick flick-type comedy.” The man waits, sniper calm, for the mist to clear and reveal some bedrock.
“And there’s one I’ve worked on for years but includes family members that have to actually die before I can publish it, so it’s on the shelf so to speak.” Ugh.
I’m jumping between projects like my closet is one big bouncy castle at a birthday party that I ate way too much sugar at.
When I signed up to join the gym all those years ago, I told the trainer, “I’m not here for the discipline, the final results, the number on the scale, or the competition. I’m here for the fun of it. When I stop having fun, I’ll stop coming.”
I bounced around that gym and ate cake and had a grand time.
Like Mr. Olympics trainer, Mr. Crime Novel is going to throw up his hands and walk away.
Frankly, the only way I’m going to get discipline is accidentally.
I will sit down when I feel like it and have a grand time playing with words and maybe, some day, I will have writer friends who want to join me in the bouncy castle.