Always Be Working Already When the Muse Decides to Show Up

Oliver Cromwell

“Not only strike while the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking.” – Oliver Cromwell, Born Apr. 25, 1599.

Do you write every day? I do. I could be better about writing more promotions, but hey. I'm working on it… Tomorrow.

That's not what I want to write about here, though.

Today I want to talk about the delicate balance between creative inspiration and discipline.

Some days, the muse decides to spend time with you. And if you write on that day, it won't come out wrong. No matter how you approach that day's work, it's gonna come out golden.

But that's not going to be every day.

And a lot of people miss those days, because they ALLOW some excuse or other to keep them from the disciplined work of writing every day.

I'm tired. I'm angry. I'm sad. I'm busy. I'm thinking. I'll double up tomorrow. I don't have a good idea. Etc.

Listen, friends – we are not Shakespeare. We are hacks. You owe the audience your lines, every single day.

They don't have to be good every single day. They won't be. But on the days that are good, with discipline and practice, you know that being angry, sad, tired, etc. will only FEED the work, rather than keep you from it.

Do what you have to do to develop daily discipline. Keep a calendar. Set an alarm. Get an accountability partner. Or just don't be a marshmallow-soft baby and do the damned work.

Whatever works for you.

I use timers. I use calendars. I use post-its. I use alarms. I use accountability partners. I use all that crap. Whatever it takes.

I show up and I write and publish SOMETHING for my machine, every single day. Mad, sad, tired, happy, gassy, bad hair day, good beard day – all of it.

Not 24/7/365 grinding, mind you.

But a small amount. A post, a share, a comment…

Because on the days when the muse hits I want to be ready to go AND have the chops to ride it out until it runs dry.

So, today's question is, how's your discipline? And how are you going to improve it?

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