Mastering the Art of Self Discipline by Tom Basson & My Gameplan

So I was reading the blog of Tom Basson because one of his entries was freshly pressed recently. While that one was very helpful and I’m going to definitely try to utilize some of his advice, I found that this article was a lot more relevant to my terribly huge need of some iron will. This segment was especially helpful:

Make no mistake, self-discipline is often extremely difficult. Moods, appetites and passions can be powerful forces to go up against. Therefore self-discipline is highly dependent on courage. Don’t pretend something is easy for you to do when it is in fact very difficult and/ or painful. Instead, find the courage to face this pain and difficulty. As you begin to accumulate small private victories, your self-confidence will grow and the courage that underpins self-discipline will come more naturally.

Like damn, do I ever feel those overwhelming urges. I think I am a better person than I was last year but I can do better. I need to be more focused on my writing and creativity (hence this blog) and with the job search as well. Just those two really. I mean I do have to work on cooking and driving, but they aren’t totally necessary to me right now.

Writing is what I love to do and to be honest, I have been neglecting it. Even if you exclude my self-bans on livejournal, tumblr, facebook, and twitter posts, I still have barely written in my collage journal or morning pages. It’s rather pathetic. So I’m really going to work on it. I will do cooking and driving but they won’t be my focus.

As for the job hunt, it’s been increasingly bothersome that I’ve been depending on handouts from my parents and my brother. I’m twentyfuckingthree years old, this is really ridiculous. And I know my mom is getting heavily irritated by it too.  I need to find a job, and if that means postponing my NYC dreams than so be it. It won’t be for too long, maybe three years max until I find that elusive book publishing job, but in the mean time I can:

  1. Do some freelance work and get some clips out there. A lot of magazines and publishers want that.
  2. Work at The Ranconteur still, which I really love. It’s volunteer work but it’s been such a dream of mine to help out at a book shoppe. I just feel so accomplished even just organizing shelves. That’s a sad, rare feeling for me these days.
  3. Just keep on writing and refining my work. Read lit magazines and see if I can submit something I’ve written or even better, do something new. I haven’t written something “serious” in so long. I mean, I’ve done deeply emotional blogs and I think on occasion my prose can be good, but when I actually took the time to finish something and edit it til it’s FULLY wonderful… nowadays I just hit publish.
  4. Review books and friggin start that tumblrwordpress. I’ve always liked the idea of critiquing books and I think it’ll give me such great joy (…or anguish haha) to read those reviews maybe an age or two later. Depending on how recently I read it, I can usually tell you how I overall feel towards the book and maybe a favorite passage, or a most hated one, but not much more than that if it’s more than 6-12 months later. I can recall if I read the synopsis or if you hand me the book, but I think this way would be much easier on me. And more fun hehe.
  5. Attend the 20’s and 30’s book club at my local library. It just started and I went to its first meeting earlier this month on “Before I Fall” by Lauren Oliver (which I still need to finish *sigh*). I’m really excited that there’s one so close and it’s going to be sooo cool to visit the other branch for the first time when it’s their turn to host. I might visit it before then but I don’t really see an event I absolutely want to go to. But who knows.

But I think I’ll apply to half NYC or Jersey City jobs and the other 50 on local jobs. Be realistic right? It’s pretty discouraging when you don’t hear from anyone but I’m going to keep on trying. I can’t give up on me now.

I honestly have too much potential for that to occur.

..and so do you.

So here’s the game plan:

  • Spend 90 minutes max straight with no distractions (so no other tabs but whatever I’m working on, maybe a long playlist) while writing. 30 minute Break. Job search. Or reverse.
  • Set a specific time for these segments, and also make time for morning pages, which means waking up at a decent time. Like before noon. Which also means going to bed at a semi-decent hour, so before 4am hahaha.
  • Maybe make sure you do three lengths of writing as well as job searching in one day. For every three you do of one thing, you can reward yourself with a hour long show like Glee or two shows in a row like Parks and Recreations and Community. Or reading whatever George of StudioNJ wrote in those books at nycc…. damn I really want to know! hehe.
  • Writing Criteria: nanowrimo, reviews, editing, short stories, poems, whatever genre or type of work it is, blogs even. Tumblr posts don’t really count EXCEPT for challenge posts and lengthyish worthwhile/cathartic “jump off” posts on whatever it is you’re reblogging or posting. Twitter certainly doesn’t either, except when it’s exceptionally delicious but that’s mostly for yourself. Yet, isn’t that everything you do creatively and the other whatnot? But for right now: focus on this damn website, specifically catching up with the daily photo posts. It’s already the middle of October and you barely begun the first of September. BAD GIRL!
  • Job Search Criteria: cover letters, clicking and checking, and refining asked submissions like samples and resume. You can stack some applicable jobs but NO MORE than three. You HAVE to tackle them once you reach that tally. You’ve got like files of unattempted linkages that are probably long gone. And there is that chance you could be working at one of them right now.  Uh uh. No me gusta.
    • Definitely try to be more familiar with outlook and publisher and excel and any other applications you can get yours hands on. There’s gotta be some sort of youtube tutorial or guide that can assist you with it. DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER inserting that you know this and this application or process when you have no clue. I’d rather be truthful from the get-go.

Hmm. Seems thorough. I might insert some other points if I come up with them later on. I just hope I remember hehe.

But I should get going. I need to do my collage journal before I hit the morning hay as its 6:13 am right now.

Me gusta.


4 thoughts on “Mastering the Art of Self Discipline by Tom Basson & My Gameplan

  1. Eileen – you sound so like me. I too need some of that ‘iron discipline.’ But I’m 64 now and not convinced I’ll ever find it. But your post has given me inspiration. I’m going to print off your gameplan right now and pin it to the ‘fridge!


    1. I don’t think it’s ever too late to find it. I’ve heard of people coming across innate talents and wonders when they’re past their so-called “prime.” So don’t give up Betsy :). I’m really happy that this inspired you, felt the same way when I came across Tom’s post. Funny how that cycle continues. I can’t help but smile that someone like you, who’s a stranger, actually printed a part of my piece, that’s like a writer’s dream come true so thank you for that :D. Really.

      I just hope I can stick with it. I’ll be honest, I haven’t made a real attempt so far to do any of it but today’s a new day so I’ll definitely give a shot and another and then another until I get it right! I wish you the best on your journey to self-discipline. Take care!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s