If I had to list my worst traits, right at the top of that long recounting you would see “poor self-discipline.”
When I was a kid I was the sort of nerdy awful child who got As in school without trying. Until about sixth grade, when I started to hit classes that required the dreaded Self-Discipline skill. My mother maintains that since I never needed to learn how to study when I was small I never grew that muscle. She’s probably right.
My inability to “buckle down” has haunted me for most of my adult life. Half-finished knitting projects, crochet projects and letters to my mother-in-law litter this house. I won’t even tell you how many half-finished blog posts are in my Saved Drafts folder on the WordPress server.
But I’m working on it. I’m working on being better at following through on things. That’s why I committed to National Novel Writing Month this year, and that’s why I am bound and determined that I WILL finish my fifty thousand words by 11:59pm on 11/30/09. For me, making that goal is something like an alcoholic achieving thirty days sobriety. It’s a testament to overcoming the worst in myself.
It’s very easy for me to come up with excuses. I’ve got many good ones. Just this month alone I was in the hospital twice, at the doctor’s once, bedridden for nine days and barely able to move for many additional days beyond that. Plus there was a big holiday in there somewhere.
But I keep seeing other writers–published ones, who make money from it–talking about how there is no good time to write. But you have to write anyway. And any idiot knows that the only books which get published* are the ones that are finished.
I am never going to finish if I don’t stop making excuses. I am not going to let my illness control me; it already dictates too many parameters as is.
So all of this to say I have two more days to write just over nine thousand words. And if there is one thing my lack of self-discipline and college taught me it is that I excel at cramming.
I will get this done.