Discipline Isn’t A Dirty Word (A MetaHack to Rule Them All)

This site, The Productive Indie Fiction Writer, is dedicated to helping you find hacks and help to make the most of your time, so that you can get more books finished and released.

That means every week I talk about mindset and the philosophy of getting more done, plus industry news that impacts the prolific, tools, tips and every aspect of a productive and prolific life.  I also hang my own productivity score sheet out in public with weekly log posts, so you can see I’m also walking the talk.

You can prepare and set up your workspace and your mental workspace. You can put hundreds of systems, hacks and processes in place designed to help you write more.

But at some point you have to just get it done. 

You know that point, if you’ve been writing for a while.  Most often you confront that point when you sit down to write for the day.  Sometimes, it crops up in other places — editing, or writing your book’s description, for example.  You likely have your own bug-bear tasks that you resist doing every single time.

There is a point when you might hesitate even for a fraction of a second, and contemplate what it might be like to NOT write/edit/copywrite.

This is why I consistently go back to Just Starting.  If you can learn to just start, a lot of your productivity woes disappear. 

Just Starting is discipline at its purest. 

Discipline is doing what you said you would, even if (and especially if) you don’t want to, and Just Starting is a way to push through that resistance.

But if you find Just Starting too difficult, you need to top up your discipline. 

If you think of self-discipline as a muscle, you will understand exactly what I mean when I say that the more you use it, the stronger it gets.  And likewise, the more you rely on artificial, external hacks to get you to your desk, the easier it becomes to knock you off your path, because you don’t have enough discipline to keep you on it.

One of my favourite books on this subject is The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It by Kelly McGonical.

It’s a pithy, blunt explanation of how discipline works and–more often–why it doesn’t, and how you can build up your willpower.

So, really, the book is a hack to make all the other hacks on PIFW work.  A meta-hack, if you like.

I head back to this book whenever I feel like I’m letting things slide too frequently, or my attitude needs adjustment.

If even Just Starting is problematic for you, give the book a try.


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