. . . ultimately, of course, what you do or do not do to and for your writing, you do to and for yourself. — Laraine Herring

Most people who know me wouldn’t say that I’m an undisciplined person. I do what I need to do and what I say I’ll do. I go (too far) above and beyond my job requirements in every job I have. I work hard and take on special projects. I’m not lazy.

But laziness and lack of discipline are two different things. I lack discipline.

At least I did until the last month or so. Now, I’m working hard to develop a set of disciplines that make me feel accomplished at the end of the day. I’ve gone back to running and walking (five miles a day most days). I’m gathering back up my ideal eating habits – mostly vegetarian, local, seasonal. I’m spending time in prayer and meditation each day. I’ve done all of these things before (I’ve even blogged about them before.) This time feels different though for one reason.

I’m also writing – 1,000 words – every day. Shawn Smucker briefly mentioned this as his daily goal recently, and as important things do, this one stuck in my mind – a little needling reminder that I could do that.

So I have. I spent three days this week writing 1,000 words a day. One day it took me less than an hour, and one day I sat at the computer for almost 5 (write, delete, write, IM, delete, etc). But each day, I walked away feeling like I had done what I was asked to do for the day. Nothing beats that feeling.

A few months ago I wrote about the mantra I was given to “build my house” – to write a book, to pull together my battered spirit, to find a path into life again. I can say, honestly, that all of that has been happening, slowly and painfully . . . this week, though, I see the fruits of all that work. A practice of discipline. 3,000 words on a page. It’s amazing stuff.

What I do for my writing, as Laraine says, is what I do for myself. I see that now. I really see it. And my house – oh, she’s gorgeous!!

Lancaster County TimberframesThis is what my literal dream house will look like.

Note: If you read my blog regularly, you may have noticed that I quote Laraine Herring a lot. That’s because she is amazing. If you’re a writer and you haven’t yet picked up her book, The Writing Warrior, you should.