Friday, August 21, 2009

Discipline is Freedom

"Discipline is Freedom." I first heard this from Garth Fagan, modern dance choreographer extraordinaire. Years ago, I had the privilege to take a master class with his company when they were in Pullman, Wa. I'm no dancer, but I took a couple of jazz and ballet classes during graduate school for a sense of balance. My Ph.D. thesis advisor, Lin Randall, was a fan and friend of Garth Fagan and she managed to get me a place alongside all these amazing dancers. I couldn't believe the things they could do with their bodies, and so effortlessly. I was even more in awe when I learned about how he made his company, from the bottom of the bucket.

Kristi's post on Talent, Passion and Discipline reminded me of his quote. Because it's true. When you have the discipline to practice your art and craft, you gain freedom to be the best you can be. Read more about cultivating self discipline here.

During the summer, my own writing takes a backseat to my children, home, students, and company. It's not the season for it. I have my priorities and family always comes first. Perhaps I will not be the writer I can be, but then again, perhaps I may have nothing to say without these important people in my life. But come fall, when school begins, I need to be more disciplined in carving time for my novel and then using it for that. I like to shoot for two pages. I make slow and steady progress that way.

So, tell me, what are your writing routines that work for you? How do you stay disciplined?


Karen Strong said...

Hi Vijaya,

I've learned the gift of self-discipline lately. Actually summer is the best time for me to write and I've almost finished with a 13 week stint of butt-in-chair, LOL.

I used to think I needed to be inspired but now I realize I need structure and yes, discipline. I have almost 60K words of draft and I don't think I would have succeeded without having goals and keeping focus.

Like you, I strive for 2 pages, and sometimes I surpass that, but yes, without discipline, writing a novel is almost impossible---there's almost always more "fun" things to do.

Great post!

Vijaya said...

60K in 13 weeks?! That's wonderful, Karen. Yes, better to let inspiration find you while you have BIC.

Perhaps the self-discipline that I recultivate in the fall will follow me into the summer months. Let's hope.

Thank you for stopping by.

Angela said...

I'm with you. It is time spent with children in my family and at work that helps me write. I pay attention to what makes me laugh and situations that create a strong reaction from children. I love hanging out in the cafeteria listening to their conversations playing at recess...everything.

My best routine though is to get my kids in bed at an early hour - start writing right away when they are in bed and also wake in the morning before everyone else and start writing. Writing 2x / day works for me!

Vijaya said...

Angela, I like your 2x/day routine. I've been trying for years to write in the morning, but I stay up much too late ... but as usual, I will give it another go this fall and see how it works out.