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  • melissaolthoff4

But My Muse is Fickle!

Yes, and your point is. . . ? Like it or not, writing at a professional level (or even a semi-professional level) requires discipline. Hitting those daily word count goals requires discipline. Honoring the commitments you've made to other authors or publishers requires discipline. Meeting deadlines requires--you guessed it--discipline. It's normal for your creativity levels to vary, and some days are definitely going to be better than others. Sometimes it's because day jobs and lives are busy, other times because you're writing in a genre you're not quite as familiar with. Regardless of the reason, discipline can see you through those rough patches when your muse has seemingly thrown in the towel and relocated to a beach somewhere. . . the kind where they give you drinks with tiny umbrellas in them (can you tell I'm so done with winter weather and am 100% ready for summer?)

To be clear, I'm not talking about ignoring self-care and a healthy balance, because both of those things are vital to everyone. I'm talking about being a professional. Yes, writing is very much a creative endeavor, but there are times where we have to buckle down to get things done. Am I speaking from experience? You betcha! The other side of that coin is recognizing when you need to step away from the keyboard because all the discipline in the world isn't making the words flow. I'm still working on that particular balance of when to stick it out and when to step away. And I don't really have an answer, because what works one day might not work the next. Me to my brain:

I suppose it all comes down to what your goals are. Are you writing just for fun? Or are you trying to level up? While I will absolutely die on the hill of 'this will be fun or I will light shit on fire,' I also recognize that there are times where it's not going to be fun or easy. Times where those procrastitasks like de-cobwebbing the house or revamping my website start to look mighty tempting. And that's when discipline can help the most.

(Is Mulan still one of my favorite movies? Yes, yes it is)

Speaking of discipline, Blood and Armor is over 20K and we're picking up speed! I've been juggling all those commitments I mentioned last week so I can add a minimum of 1K a day to the manuscript. Part of juggling those commitments is prioritizing based on deadlines, and because Casey and I are gosh darned professionals, we'll get it done on time. Meanwhile, Marisa Wolf and I finished up a short story last night (YAY!!), and we merrily kicked it over to Nick Steverson to read in all its rough draft glory. He demanded beer and cookies in compensation, because he's awesome and dropped everything to read it for us, and then somehow that also turned into me owing Jason Cordova mochas at FantaSci next week. Not exactly sure how that happened, but heck yes to mochas! Okay, fine, it might have to do with Nick dropping everything, including the WIP he's writing with Jason. Did I mention those two yahoos are coauthoring the next two Salvage Universe novels? I've read the first already. Ya'll. . . it's EPIC, and I can't wait to get my grubby hands on the second book.

Whelp, I've got about 600 more words to write in Blood and Armor to hit my daily goal, so I'd best get to it. After a little basketball with the kids. Discipline and balance and all the things!! Until next week, folks!!

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