“Some people think I work too hard, but the important thing for me is to keep going…Whether you are 24, 64, or 74 makes no difference. The only thing that counts is how good the show is.” Irving Berlin, songwriter and composer
“Self-discipline is an individual’s greatest asset.” Lou Holtz, football coach
The creator of “White Christmas,” and “God Bless America” —Irving Berlin—and Lou Holtz, a football coach,might seem like strange bedfellows, but to my mind, these two bits of wisdom belong together.
Wherever we are on our writing journey, there’s a way to keep going—to “go on with the show” and more than that, to make the show you’re working on—the story or the novel or the play—even better than the last one.
There’s always something new to learn that can improve our craft, always some new, better idea to reach for that can enrich our work. And always a clearer, truer, deeper way to say what we want to say.
But finding our way there isn’t always easy. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes heart. It takes self-discipline.
To say something even better than we have in the moment, and even better than we ever have before, isn’t easy. Sometimes it eludes us. Sometimes we feel too tired or discouraged to reach for it. Sometimes we feel no one but us really cares about what we’re striving for.
That’s when self-discipline kicks in and keeps us going. I like to think of self-discipline as that extra fuel in our creative gas tank—the extra bit of energy that’s created and renewed each time we push past a barrier. Each time we fight through an obstacle and come out the other side, we get a little stronger, a little tougher. We renew our precious supply of self-discipline—of stick-to-it-I’ve-ness. What a gift!
So let’s remember to keep going and growing. Write on!
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