Those are four things that it takes to be a successful writer: passion, creativity, inspiration, and discipline.
I can see you nodding your head until you come to that last word—discipline.
It’s easy to understand the role that passion, creativity, and inspiration play in writing. If you’ve had a blog for any length of time, you’ve probably already experienced a creative streak when it seemed that you couldn’t type fast enough to express the thoughts that you wanted to write about.
I think everyone would agree that when you feel inspired you definitely need to take advantage of that feeling and write as much as you can. Your readers can often tell whether you are passionate about a subject and will respond accordingly.
But, what about those times when you don’t feel particularly passionate about your subject or even very inspired?
That’s where discipline comes in.
The mistake that a lot of would be writers make is that they stop writing when they don’t feel inspired and wait for the passion to come back.
Guess what? Sometimes what the writer mistook for passion was actually excitement about the novelty of writing and publishing something online. Once that novelty wears off, these writers stop writing altogether. That’s one reason (although not the only reason) why there are a lot of abandoned blogs out there.
A disciplined writer, on the other hand, will keep writing. They are committed to producing something regardless of how they feel and that commitment is the true definition of being passionate about writing.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve started a writing project despite the fact that I didn’t feel much like doing it at the time I started. Regardless of I how I feel, I make myself sketch out a few ideas and I start to put something together.
By doing this, I’ve noticed a curious fact. Often, although I wasn’t excited about the project when I started, I find myself growing more excited as the project starts to materialize. Suddenly, there is inspiration where once there was none. Creativity flourishes where once I felt dry. At the end, I frequently find that I have a result that I’m really passionate about.
That’s why I’ve found the discipline of a writing schedule to be helpful. I have set working hours, and while they can be flexible for true emergencies, I generally try to adhere to them as much as possible.
My writing definitely benefits from the discipline of writing regularly.
Have you noticed a connection between writing passion and writing discipline? Share your thoughts.