Sharon C. Cooper

Just thinking…

Talent, Passion and Discipline

I was just thinking…

For those of you who are indie/self-published authors, do you find that you’re often approached by people who say – “Congratulations on your book. I’m writing a book, are you able to give me some suggestions on getting it published?” OR “I see that you’ve written a book. I’ve been working on a book for the past few years and I’m planning to finish it, but in the meantime, are you able to give me some suggestions on getting it published?” OR “I have some ideas for a book. I might contact you in the near future to find out how to get it published.” OR “What’s all involved in writing a book? I’m thinking about writing one soon.”

Lately, I have been receiving many questions similar to these (I’m talking at least once per week), and it started me to thinking…not everyone can write AND get a book published (in my opinion). I say that because it’s soooo much more than just having a desire to write a book, having a story idea, or even a writing talent or gift. I’m here to tell you – it’s an obscene amount of work, commitment and discipline involved in going from having a book idea to having a published work! I’m talking stress, headaches, anger and crazy amounts of sleepless nights (because sometimes you can’t stop the voices in your head).  Can I get an amen?

At any rate, this whole thought process reminded me of a blog post I did a few months ago (9/20/12), so I figured I’d repost it since it’s a reminder that we all can use from time to time.


Do you ever wonder why when some people put their minds to do things they not only accomplish it, but they soar like eagles? Or why, with some, it seems as if everything they touch turns to gold (Oprah, Jay Z, Donald Trump, etc)?  Well it might have something to do with talent, passion and discipline…but specifically discipline.

A friend of mine introduced me to Elizabeth George’s book, “Write Away,” where she states, “You will be published if you possess three qualities – talent, passion and discipline.” She goes on to say that you’ll “probably” be published if you possess the combination: talent & discipline or passion & discipline; and you’ll “likely” be published if you possess discipline.

Do you see a pattern? Like me, you probably noticed that the common denominator is – discipline.

I was having my morning cup of tea and started thinking…we can use Ms. George’s example in every aspect of our lives, whether it’s starting our own business or keeping the house clean. It’s all about having discipline – self-discipline to be more exact. We all know people (or are those people) who have a list of goals, a bucket list, or even a dream that they want to see come to fruition, but many are slow to put forth the effort needed to accomplish a goal or a dream. They find everything to do or work on, but that. Or they give up too quick, claiming there aren’t enough hours in a day, or someone did them wrong, or this happened or that happened. I could go on and on, but the fact of the matter is – if you lack self-discipline, you are not going to accomplish your goals! Those individuals mentioned above, accomplish as much as they do because they possess self-discipline. Okay, I’ll admit, they probably have a few other major qualities…and a good support team, but you get what I’m saying.

I can’t help but think about something else Elizabeth George said in her book – “do what needs to be done first and then play later.” Sometimes this might mean delaying gratification, but I guess you have to decide – how important is that goal you’re trying to accomplish or that dream you want fulfilled?

So…how’s your self-discipline level these days?


March 14, 2013 - Posted by | Encouragement, Just Thinking | , , , , , ,


  1. Slowly but surely my discipline is improving. Timers and lists are tools I use to keep myself on track.

    As for the voices in my head – yeah, I’m starting to experience that more lately. Twice in the past couple of weeks I’ve woken up in the middle of the night with ideas for The Blind Date, a story I’m currently working on. I don’t know what’s going on, but I need my sleep. I’m cranky without it. Lol.

    Comment by Delaney Diamond | March 14, 2013

    • Hi Delaney, that’s great that you see improvement! I have my days. 🙂 I can’t live without a to-do-list, but I haven’t tried the timer technique yet. As for the voices (especially when I should be sleeping) – I have written a plenty of scenes in the wee hours of the morning because of those voices. Lol!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Comment by sharonccooper | March 14, 2013

  2. This is a great post! Discipline is definitely something that I’ve been struggling with recently. Sometimes delaying gratification, or putting fictional people ahead of real ones (for a while) can be a challenge. Writing, and publishing, is a marathon of pacing and self-awareness. 🙂

    Comment by Kirsten Imani Kasai | March 14, 2013

    • Hi Kirsten, thanks for stopping by! I had to chuckle at the part of your comment about putting fictional people ahead of real ones – I’m so guilty of doing that. 🙂

      Comment by sharonccooper | March 14, 2013

  3. I don’t have a problem with discipline when it comes to work. In fact, I believe I need to discipline myself to NOT work every minute of every day. Being an indie author for the past 2-1/2 years, I’ve become so obsessed with the “if you don’t work, you don’t eat” motto, I’m paranoid. LOL!

    What you said about people contacting you with questions is so true. I finally had to put together a series on my blog to address them, because I just don’t have the time to individually mentor folks. Ms. George’s statement is dead on. I will talk to many of these people who’ve contacted me months later, and they haven’t written a word!

    Comment by Chicki Brown | March 14, 2013

    • Hi Chicki, I have the same problem – I too follow the “if you don’t work, you don’t eat” motto! I’m trying to do better about not being so obsessed, but I’m not there yet. 🙂 I like your idea about putting something together to address some of the questions I mentioned above…or better yet – I can just direct people to your blog (smile). I know how much your tips helped me! Thanks for stopping by!

      Comment by sharonccooper | March 14, 2013

  4. Crazy computer! i don’t have a problem with self-discipline unless life intervenes and it has been doing that since December. I got asked questions about writing a book more when my first ever romance novel was published back in 1999. Nancy Goldberg Levine

    Comment by nancygoldberglevine | March 14, 2013

    • Hi Nancy, I know what you mean about life intervening – it happens! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      Comment by sharonccooper | March 14, 2013

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