Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A lesson from Anne Hathaway

Writing this summer has been challenging for me. I take that back. Besides the normal freelancing I do, since I submitted my manuscript for book #2 in the Madi series on July 5th, writing has been virtually non-existent for me. Book #3 will be due in about 8 months. Yikes. As I was mulling this over, I had an epiphany. Wanna hear it?

My book won't write itself.

Deep, I know.

Recently, I saw a reporter interviewing Anne Hathaway on some entertainment TV show. Apparently, Anne had just lost about 15 pounds for a movie role. I know, right? The girl doesn't have an extra 15 pounds to lose. But that's not my point.

The reporter asked this question: "Wasn't it hard to be on such a strict diet?"

Anne's reply sticks with me:

"It doesn't matter how hard it was. It's what was required."

Wow. Talk about a great answer. Rather than focus on the difficulty of sticking to such a regimented diet, and how she missed out on the fattening foods she loves, poor me...wah...wah...wah... Anne simply bucked up and did what she had to do. Okay, so she had a (few) million reasons to stick to that diet. I'm thinking if I was making millions of dollars on a book, I'd be more inclined to sit my buns in a chair and do what's required, too.

But that's beside the point.

The point is, just as acting is Anne's passion, writing is mine. And if I want to see another book on the shelf, then it doesn't matter how hard it is. I need to do what's required to make it happen. Even if it means getting up early. Even if it means giving up something I love (*cough--Solitaire Blitz--cough*). Even if it means keeping my butt glued to my chair until my daily word-count goal is reached.

Of course, adopting that attitude is easier said than done. It begins (and ends, really) in the mind. It's taking authority over my feelings when I don't "feel" like writing. It's telling myself (again and again, if necessary) during the difficult...boring...frustrating...moments, that "this too shall pass." It's constantly reminding myself that the fruits of my labor will all be worth it in the end. Even though my "fruits" will be grapes, compared to Anne's watermelons.

Stop chuckling. You know what I mean.

Question for you: Is discipline something you struggle with? Any tips or recent epiphanies you'd like to share?

"For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." -  
Hebrews 12:11


KarenG said...

Wow, interesting post! It caught my attention because I've often wondered how Anne Hathaway gets so many plum parts. She's the best actress around and at times she seems miscast in her role but one after the another they come to her and her career is climbing faster than any other Hollywood actress. Maybe this is why! She works hard. She's disciplined and willing to do whatever it takes to make it in a very difficult business. Hmmm. Yes, definitely a lesson there for writers!

New follower here!


Lynda Lee Schab said...

Thank you, Karen! I truly appreciate you stopping by and the follow. :-) I love Anne...and you're right. She is one of the most talented actresses out there. :-)

Loree Huebner said...

Loved Anne's answer. I might tack up , "It's required" on my bulletin board.

Awesome that you added Hebrews 12:11 - so perfect.

I sometimes struggle with eating right/healthier. With hubby and I working, I need to take more time to prepare healthy meals all week long instead of part of the week.

Great post!

Lynda Lee Schab said...

I totally know what you mean, Loree. My lack of discipline stretches into many areas of my life, including my diet. Great idea to tack up the saying as a daily reminder. :-)

Patty Wysong said...

Anne's quote is now on a stickie beside my monitor. Thanks for this, Lynda. It's what I needed to hear on a couple fronts, right at this moment.

Diana Dart said...

Perfect post for today (and tomorrow, and the next day). Wise words from a classy lady.

Discipline tends to waver just out of my reach, but I'm working on it. Proverbs sure gives you a kick in the pants some days ;) And I'm going to write out that Hebrews verse for encouragement.

Now if only eating chocolate where required... THAT I could do.

suz said...

Very good post. Yep, we all have discipline issues, and life can be hard. But we just have to keep at it and do the best we can. At least, that's what I keep telling myself. I, too, will copy that quote and keep it handy. - Karen