Paul Guyot on discipline, the importance of routine, and professionalism:
Whatever your work/school schedule is, you MUST make a writing schedule. You have to do it the same time every day for the same amount of time every day. If you want to increase your odds of succeeding, that is. Maybe you don't. That's fine. Order me a vanilla latte while you're sitting there.
It's that thing I've said here before – decide where you want to be in your career, then act like you're already there. Meaning, you want to be a professional writer. Then act like one – be disciplined; write every day on the same schedule… like a professional writer. See?
Sit in front of that keyboard or legal pad every day for the same amount of time every day. At first it will be tough to get anything on paper. There might even be some days when almost nothing gets on the paper. But it's like working out – when you first start, it sucks. But then your body and mind get used to it. You get into a kind of groove and much sooner than you think, you will be writing more and BETTER.
So, for 2006, make a commitment to yourself to start acting like the person you want to be – an employed writer. Get disciplined, get on a schedule, and stick to it. Write at the same time every day for the same amount of time every day. I would suggest NO LESS than 4 hours a day. More if you can handle it.
[Link via Maura's Splinister]