If someone offered you 10 million dollars with only one small catch, would you take it?

The other day I had an email from a friend about me screenwriting at 6 a.m. every morning. She said, “I admire your discipline. It must come from a deep passion.”

I thought, “Is this passion? Is this discipline? Is that what this is? That doesn’t quite feel right.”

Perhaps this is because I’ve struggled for so long to be clear about what I’m passionate about that the word “passion” has lost meaning for me.

Then, last week I found myself saying to my Writer’s Circle participants how you would have to fight me off with a sword to keep me from writing.

And I thought, “Huh! Passion.”

But the clincher was when I saw Jeanne Bowerman‘s tweet:

I knew my own answer was “No. Way.”

Then I got it. This is beyond reason, it’s beyond passion. It’s a kind of fierceness I never expected.

What shocks me is that this fierceness has been born out of the discipline of writing on a daily basis, not the other way around. And I hesitate to even call it discipline, because there are days when I have to drag myself out of bed with bribes and threats alike. The funny thing is that it’s gotten more scary NOT to write than TO write. 

I didn’t know I would love writing like this. I had no idea until I started doing it regularly. Daily. At ungodly hours.

I’m also fascinated to have discovered that taking a day off or two DOES dwindle this feeling. I find myself drifting and uninspired when I stop.

But as long as I write every day or darn close to it, I’m good.

And I’m doing this by making it a LOT harder NOT to write than it is TO write:

  • I set my clock early. If I don’t get up and write immediately, I’ll miss my chance before my husband goes to work and I’ve got kid duty.
  • I set public goals with my Writer’s Circle EVERY DAY. And they notice if I don’t show up.
  • I have assignments due every day for my ProSeries screenwriting class. And they’re counting to make sure we’re doing the assignments.
  • I’m the coach for the Writer’s Circle too, so I have a responsibility as a role model too.

I’ve got multiple layers of accountability. Plus a healthy fear that if I stop writing, it’ll be hard to get started again. And a fierce belief that I’ve found my true calling.

Your Turn

What does this inspire for you? Let me know on the blog.

*** If you’d like to have this kind of daily accountability for yourself around your writing, join my “Just Do The Writing” Accountability Circle right now. Our next session starts on Monday, January 23rd, and Thursday, January 19th is the last day to register. If you do your part, it will blow your mind. http://JustDoTheWriting.com

 

 Jenna

Coming Attractions

~> Ongoing. My Protection & Grounding Jewelry is on close-out. Only TWO necklaces are left, and then they are gone for good. Find them here.

~> January 23rd, 2012. The next session of my Writer’s Circle starts. Sign up here. Get my Free Writing Tips series too, and receive a coupon for a savings on your first 4 week session.

~> February 2, 2012. Start the new year fresh with your life purpose clear in your mind. My next life purpose breakthrough group session in on February 2. Details. SOLD OUT.

 

What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Writing in the ProSeries class at ScreenwritingU, which was just named the #1 screenwriting class by InkTip.

~> Daily and especially Fridays. Sacred writing time. The Do Not Disturb sign is up.

~> Still watching Castle, Season 3, so good. I guess the whole planet really is designed to show off Nathan Fillion’s awesomeness.

Comments

  1. Jenna,
    I’ve noticed this too, since being in your Writer’s Circle and beginning to write on a regular basis. The passion has grown out of the commitment and I feel as though nothing can stop me from finishing my project now.
    Carey recently posted..How Much Juice Is EnoughMy Profile

  2. Hey Jenna
    There is one small thing I wanted to know, which is maybe slightly off-topic, but still on-topic. How important is it do you think to have supportive factors in place to do your writing? Supportive relationships, a supportive place conducive to writing… Can you write if you feel like significant parts of the rest of your life are in turmoil?
    Just throwing it out there, though I think I already know the answer :)
    Best wishes,
    Clare

    • Clare, great question actually! It has been harder for me to write during difficult emotional times (losing a loved one) but I have found that so many of my other ideas about what I needed (like the right place to write or a long chunk of time to write) have turned out to be not that important. And even with the difficult emotional circumstances, I still find that writing regularly is a kind of healing balm that brings me back to myself. It’s like I find myself through my writing again. I’d love to have you join us in the Writer’s Circle if you’ve got a project in mind — sounds like you have something brewing. Let’s get it written! :)

  3. For me, too, it’s the lost feeling I get when I don’t write the keeps me returning to the page. I can hear myself think better when I capture my thoughts on the page. I discover thoughts I didn’t know I had by putting my pen to the page.

    • Sean, I love how you said that, “it’s the lost feeling I get when I don’t write that keeps me returning to the page” — and the self-discover process — so true! Thanks for sharing.

  4. this stimulates further curiosity about the inner dynamics of creativity and the power of commitment!
    clarity does not necessarily bring commitment. commitment brings clatity.

    happy to have you in my life jenna<3

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