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Passion and Discipline – the keys for success

I am a writer. Well, you know that if you read this blog on a regular basis. I love writing and I enjoy it. It is my purpose.

My aspiration, however, is to be a successful writer. I want to do this for a living; to make my hobby my career and do what I love most every day, full time. I’m not there yet – and until recently, I didn’t even think it was possible. Now, I am determined that it is not only possible but it will happen. How I’ve reached that conclusion, I covered in my blog of last week. This week, I wanted to cover the two key ingredients that are helping me reach my writing goals.

The first of these is Passion. To be truly successful you have to love what you are doing. It has to fill you with joy when you do it and be something you can commit yourself to every day. Don’t misunderstand me, by the way. I’m not suggesting that you are only passionate if every time you sit to write and struggle to get an intelligible sentence onto the page, you should feel like celebrating and skipping round the room. Like anything, there are tough bits to grapple with. But, when that sentence finally emerges, it should be the best feeling. And, when times are tough, you should be able to find your passion as a reminder of why you are doing this.

The second is discipline. That quality which makes me write something every day and sit down to write when there are other things to do. It is what makes sure I post a blog every week and ensures I tweet every day. It is why I don’t sit to write and then spend an hour checking my Facebook messages and painting my nails. It isn’t easy and I have to work at it. I have to schedule my writing time so that it gets done and sometimes I feel an inward groan when I realise that time has come – especially if the work isn’t going smoothly at the moment. It is essential though. Otherwise, when things are a struggle, I’d stop. I would pretend “tomorrow” and then not do anything then either. The Bremmand Chronicles would never have seen the light of day – and the photo on my home page would be of an empty patch of carpet.

This combination isn’t new, of course. I make no claims that it is my own idea. In fact I can’t find the original source of these two very different traits being put together. All I’m doing is applying the ideas to my writing. But, when it comes to other people’s perspectives on this topic, the quote I like best comes from Kate Nasser, an American life coach:

“Passion starts the journey and discipline guides around the curves.”

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