Discipline: The Challenge For Every Writer

I’ve been coming across the word “discipline” a lot lately. Discipline isn’t necessarily a bad word. However, whenever I see the word, I cringe. I guess it’s because the word connotes rigidity or restriction for me.

When I think of the word discipline, I see a soldier in boot camp, a runner training for a marathon or a swimmer preparing for a competition. I appreciate those who are in the military or training for the Olympics. I know it takes a lot of discipline, hard work and sacrifice to be able to win or succeed.

I honestly couldn’t see myself getting up at the crack of dawn to practice. Which reminds me of Jeff Goins‘ 15 day writing challenge I participated in recently. One of the challenges was to wake up at 5:00am and write for two hours. So, you can imagine how well I did. I was already having trouble getting up early to read my bible.

My struggle lead me to read an excellent book on the subject called Passages by Brian Hardin. In this book, Brian Hardin explains the necessity of reading the bible every day. His challenge is if we read the bible every day for one year, we will change from the inside out. This book inspired me to be disciplined in reading my bible every day.

I looked up the word “discipline” in the dictionary to get a better understanding.


“an activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training.” (dictionary.com)

I confess, I lack discipline and I realize discipline is necessary if I am going to succeed at writing or reading my bible. I believe the Lord is using people like Jeff Goins, Brian Hardin and Charles Specht to have me focus and work on this area.

God desires for us to grow and discipline is the only vehicle by which we can achieve results.

Question: Do you also struggle with discipline in your life? Please use the comments section below to explain.

* Image credit: Elen Tel'lthil (Creative Commons)
  • Great article, Pilar! 

    Discipline in my writing is something I need to work on myself. I’m thinking about forcing myself to write no less than 1,000 words per day. I’ll let you know how it goes.  😉

    • Teri Johnson

      Wow Charles…1,000 words per day! I need. to. wrote. more.

      • Well…we’ll see how it goes.  😉

        I’ve got two blogs going, with a novel (my second book) 1/2 written, and about three or four ideas for my third book floating around my head. I’d like to write 500 words per day for a blog post and 500 words toward my novel. But again, sounds good…but let’s see.

    •  Thanks so much for the opportunity and allowing me to be a part of this community.  I am grateful.  Yes, please let me know how it goes. 🙂

  • tammyhelfrich

    Great post. I think we can all use discipline in certain areas. I don’t always like the word, either, so I typically use focus or commitment instead. I am committed to writing consistently, and focus on living a healthier lifestyle. Thanks for the honesty!

    • Discipline is something we could all use more of. The more I think about it, the more I realize how undisciplined I am in many things in life. Much to work on!

    •  I like that Tammy, focus and commitment.  Thank you for commenting. 🙂

  • Wow. Cool blog community you guys have here. Kinda jealous, actually. 🙂

    • Yes, I totally excited how this writers blog is turning out! We’ve got a great core of people committed to writing and sharing their struggles and triumphs. And in case you haven’t noticed, Jeff, there is always room for one more contributing writer in the sidebar. Hint, hint. 😉

    •  Yes, it is a blessing.  Thanks for dropping by and commenting. 🙂

  • Teri Johnson

    Pilar — my life “works” better with discipline and structure. BUT when it comes to writing, it seems this is the thing that continues to get put on the back burner. Great post.

    Keeping it Personal,
    Teri Johnson

    •  Thanks so much Teri.  I can completely relate. You are not alone. 🙂

  • I so struggle with discipline. I’m really bad at time management, which makes discipline even harder. 

    •  I am right there with you, Jamie.  We are in this together.

  • Pilar…I’m not sure how I missed this earlier.  Great post!  I too struggle with discipline… especially Jeff’s idea of getting up at 5 a.m. ; )

    • Heidi, thanks… oh my gosh, I’m lucky if I get up at 7:00am, seriously.  I’m like a zombie in the morning. 🙂

  • Charles, I can so relate to this challenge! I joined a productivity group for that very reason to help me stay accountable and also for the support and encouragement. I’m actually writing a book now to share insights, tips and strategies for writers. These have helped motivated me and moved me from stuck to success. One of the chapters on discipline, I shared a perspective that has helped me, “Perhaps it will help you to realize that discipline will end in pleasure. After the pain of the discipline, you’ll have the joy and satisfaction which comes with accomplishment.” This is so true. When I don’t want to exercise, I think about how good I will feel after.
    I’m delighted to hear you are reading the Bible. I joined a facebook group to read through the Bible chronologically this year and it’s given me the discipline to focus and read. Oh, my goodness, that has benefited me so much. Reading the Bible is one of the best disciplines we can engage in.

    • That’s wonderful, Sharon! Keep up the great work of writing!

      One of the things we can never do too much of in this life is feast on the pure milk of God’s holy Word. I know that the more I read it the more obedient I am in the things God would have me do. Blessings to you!

    • Sounds like a great book!  Elisabeth Elliot wrote a book I really want to read called, “Discipline the Glad Surrender.”

  • Love this honest post, Pilar. So great to join together too which, to me, is part of the solution. I’m with you. Just the word “discipline” makes me want to run the other way. For me, I find that the secret is in what Charles talks about in his post about writing his book, which is that when you realize you WANT to do something, the concept of discipline changes, just like the money will come from something you love rather than focusing on the money itself. I simply can’t do things I don’t want to do, which doesn’t mean valuable things aren’t ever difficult. But when you realize you want what they lead to, the struggle goes away. I mean, who are we battling anyway? It’s usually ourselves. It can be a scary confrontation but real freedom and satisfaction lies on the other side. Sometimes we are compelled to do things we don’t want to but if you find the real reason for doing them, you can decide with less struggle whether they really are valuable or not and proceed with more grace and enjoyment. 

    • Excellent points Katie.  My father always said, do what you love and the money will follow.  Yes, my greatest enemy is myself.  Well, mostly fighting against the resistance and the negative voices that tell me I’m not a writer.

      • And that’s so clearly untrue, as you are writing. So done with that one. Next? I know what you mean, though. Encouragement can help banish those doubts. So what would happen if you believed you are a writer? 🙂

  • The only thing I’m disciplined in is having no discipline. Ok, that’s not 100% true. There are several areas where I lack discipline & have need of accountability: bible reading, writing, and healthy living. Thanks, Pilar, for sharing your struggles & for challenging me to focus on the areas where I need discipline.

    • Hey there, I’m sorry for not responding sooner.  Thanks for stopping by and commenting.  I really appreciate your support.  We are in this together. 🙂

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