Here’s what Annie Dillard says about discipline and schedules in The Writing Life:
‘How we spend our day is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.’
When I first read this it changed my life. It was so plain. I could make as many excuses as I liked to avoid sitting down and facing the work, but in the end my life is how I spend my time. If I spend my hours doing housework or surfing the Internet, then that is who I am. I am not a writer, I am a housecleaner, or an Internet surfer. All the excuses in the world won’t change that.
This frightened me into being serious about my work and respecting my time. And I liked the mindfulness of it too. How I spend my time matters. What I do is what I am, who I am.
These days I am a writer