Sunday, January 14, 2007

Discipline and Motivation

As a writer, I often find myself at a loss of motivation to sit down and write. I get up at the crack of dawn three days a week and go for a long run. Three days a week, I go to the gym in the evening for my weight work out. In between, I'm at work and living life with myself and those I love. However, the motivation killer is having the TV on for background noise when I write. Really, who can have the TV on and write without distraction? Not many, I suspect.

So, I guess it is not lack of motivation that keeps me from writing. Perhaps it is more the lack of discipline. I wonder what discipline looks like to a successful writer? About 15 years ago right after my divorce I lived in a lovely little cottage in the country. An orchard was to one side of me and an orange tree lived in back yard. I had a beautiful garden and lots of countryside to admire.

And, I had a TV but no cable access.

When I lived in this wonderful little place, even with a 45 minute commute two ways for work, I found myself writing every spare moment. I joined a writer's workshop through the local community college and I wrote...and wrote....and wrote. In fact, every day after work and on weekends, I sat down at the computer and wrote my stories. I was motivated, but then again I didn't have the distraction of television either. My hunger to put words onto paper was strong, compelling, constant.

When I had lived in the cottage for about a year, I made the decision to move to the town where I worked. When I was doing the final walk through with Kathy, the owner of the cottage, I suggested she get cable access for the next tenant.

"It's tough living out here with no TV," I said.

"We have antenna," she said. "All you had to do was hook it up."

Funny, I hadn't even thought about hooking up the cord because the cable company said there was no access in my area. I really didn't miss television either because I was so busy writing!

My goal today is to keep the TV off until there is a show on I want to watch. But, writing comes first. And, believe me, with all the reality programs today, there is not much I am interested in. Just a few shows that come on later in the evening, thus no reason to have the television on for background noise. That's what music is for. And silence.

Now, it's time to get to work on my story with.....some beautiful silence in the background.

© 2007 Susan Littlefield

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