Writing is a Discipline


If a writer considers writing to be a task, he/she is doomed to failure. Since it cannot be a task, then what is it? It is a discipline. What does that mean?

A discipline means development, and that means preparation. So a writer must prepare to be a writer and that means study, study of the English language-its words, its structure, its syntax, and its style. That is the groundwork that a writer must follow all his/her life. This implies training.

Where does a writer obtain this training? From many sources-workshops, seminars, courses, reading, and connection with other writers. Every day becomes part of a writer's training. Every moment adds to the writer's store of information, ideas, topics, and themes.

Discipline means the cultivation of input, of broadening the writer's outlook, of developing something to say, and of creating a way to say it. Without effort there can be no output-at least no yield that readers are willing to add to their store of thoughts and ideas.

Discipline means practice. A writer is not a writer until he or she puts words to paper or screen and this is the application of the training that preceded it. All of this implies a love of the art, and if that is not present, then it becomes a task, and writing can never succeed as a chore.

Discipline means exercise, which means action, which means the act of writing, of sitting before the blank page or screen and filling it. This is the time of labor, but it must be a labor of love, a desire, a need, an addiction, in fact, to expressing oneself. Of course, this action can take many forms-poetry, essays, short stories, articles, novels, and non-fiction books-but it must be treasured and desired for its own sake before it is presented to readers.

Without discipline, writing becomes nothing more that a job to be completed leaving the author unfulfilled and wanting.

Charles O. Goulet has a BA in English literature. He has published several novels that are available from Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and many other online book stores.

His website is: http://www.telusplanet.net/public/go1c


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