Writing Discipline

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m finishing up a master’s degree in theological studies. At this point all my course work is done.  All I have left is to produce a thesis.  My topic–where the work of John Wesley would locate him within the contemporary food movement–has been approved. The project is outlined and the research is finished.

Now I’ve just got to get it finished.  Setting it all to paper is taking longer than I thought it would.

I’m not dealing with the classic Diablo Blanco.  I’ve started it and it’s all in my head. What I need is a writing discipline.  Instead of writing when the farming is done, maybe for a while I need to farm when the writing is done.

Hopefully in a few months I’ll be celebrating the completion of it.

In the meantime, it’s time to get to writing.


11 comments on “Writing Discipline

  1. Best of luck – I am in the throws of writing my second book and it is not easy to write within specific timelines and then the life bit happens in between too.
    Happy writing.
    🙂 Mandy


    • Bob Braxton says:



    • Bill says:

      Thanks Mandy. I’ve written a lot of big papers and briefs in my life and I’ve never failed to make a deadline. But this is the biggest project I’ve ever taken on and the life bit isn’t leaving me a lot of time to work on it. 🙂
      Good luck with your book. I have great respect for folks who have written (and published) a book.


  2. shoreacres says:

    I began blogging at Weather Underground, and after I started at WordPress I tried to maintain both blogs because of personal ties and so forth. In May of this year, I finally closed the WU blog in order to focus on my WordPress blog, and it was a good decision.

    I’m not suggesting you close your blog – far from it. But until you’re done with the thesis, perhaps cutting back to 2-3 posts per week would be helpful.

    Psychic energy’s as limited as physical, of course. You’ve moved away from posting about life on the farm and the benefits of what you do to more criticism of what’s happening in the larger world of agriculture. That’s important. We need people who can educate without becoming pedantic.

    On the other hand, writing about such things does suck up a lot of energy. It might be that until the thesis is finished, posting about things that increase your energy – that is, things that you enjoy – might help to free up more energy for the thesis.

    All of us struggle with these issues. I just saw a tweet yesterday from a woman whose blog I read, and who has been going on for years about writing a novel. Her tweet? “About to implement a new weekly schedule. FYI, it includes a dedicated writing day, and I will NOT be moved from it!”

    These are just my ramblings. You’ll figure out the best approach for you.


    • Bill says:

      A dedicated writing day sounds good. But I don’t know how to tell the farm to stop being a farm one day a week. I’ve read or heard about disciplines that work for different folks. One author gets up at 4 every morning and writes for 3 or 4 hours while all is quiet. Other people go away somewhere to escape distractions.

      I’ve tried to set aside 1-6 hours a day to write, but I rarely get that much time in.
      Blogging isn’t taking a lot of my time, but I suppose if I added up all the words I’ve written on the blog since I started working on the thesis I’d find that they’d be enough to have finished it by now. But I’d missed a lot of fun and good conversation.

      Maybe I should just start posting my work on the thesis (killing two birds with one stone, so to speak). Hmmm… It’ll be pretty obvious if I start doing that. And if I do, I won’t have to spend much time responding to comments.


  3. El Guapo says:

    If you can keep running the farm to a schedule, you’ll probably get this done smoothly once you start.
    well? Get to it.


  4. Bob Braxton says:

    daily writing for me takes top priority


  5. shoreacres says:

    I’ve been meaning to pass this link on to you. Rosemary’s been struggling with some of the same issues, and I think there’s a good bit of wisdom here. I’ve kept her entry pinned to read at least daily while I try to sort out some of the same issues myself.


    • Bill says:

      Thanks. That’s good. I have little pockets of time carved out already–early mornings for blogging, the hour before bedtime for reading. I just have to make room for writing now. Back when I was still lawyering I managed to get that done and still do plenty of farming, so there’s bound to be room.

      I’m feeling encouraged right now, as I just finished the intro and first chapter, right on schedule with the deadlines I’ve imposed on myself. Starting tomorrow I begin tackling chapter two. 🙂


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