Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Tuesday 15 May 2012

A Note on Discipline

I know... I know... I go on about working hard all the time, but today’s blog isn’t like that.

I get up every day and write a blog. I’ve become used to it; it’s a way of stretching my muscles before I get into the real work of the day. It’s also very freeform; apart from the premise that the blogs are about writing, I don’t have a schedule of things lined up; I simply grab a laptop in the morning, usually while I drink my first cup of tea, and write about whatever happens to occur to me.
Some mornings, of course, nothing occurs to me, and, at that point I could just not write a blog. It’s a slippery slope, though, isn’t it: if I miss one day, I might as well give the whole thing up. That’s where the discipline comes in, and the coping strategies. Sometimes, when I don’t have an idea, I go and have a riffle through my twitter feed to see if people are talking about anything interesting, sometimes I read a blog, or ask the husband for a notion.
Once in a while, like this morning, I simply trust my skills, relax, and begin to write, and sometimes that produces a usable blog. Some of my best blogs, and certainly some of my most popular snarks have come from my most spontaneous, least planned thoughts, which I hope is proof that the system works.
Now for the science bit, or, in this case, my usual exhortation. Anyone who is any good at anything cannot rely entirely on talent. I know people with huge talents who fail to organise themselves and produce little or nothing, and certainly not enough of anything to build a career. By the same token, I know people who make the very most of the little bit of talent they possess, work hard, and do very well for themselves.
I don’t claim to be in either camp, but I think it speaks volumes that I was too busy doing other things (including making excuses) for a very long time before I found the will that it takes to produce viable work.
I write every day, even if it’s only this blog, and I do recommend that you should, too. Trust me, you’ll soon find your groove.

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