24 March 2013


Rule 1

What is self-control? According to the dictionary, it is the restraint exercised over one's own impulses, emotions, or desires.

Glancing down at my thighs, as well as the pile of chocolate wrappers I have sitting on the other end of the table, it is apparent that I don't have a great deal of self-control when it comes to eating.

I suppose I could try to make myself feel better and say that I don't eat EVERYTHING I want, just almost everything I want. That's exercising some sort of control, right? (I'm not really feeling better, by the way.)

The USSD manual definition is as follows:

Self-Control - Control over impulses, emotions and weaknesses. Do what you have to do.

Often times in the dojo, the self-control factor comes into play when someone hits you too hard or rolls you up into a little ball and kicks you out the door while you're sparring. (I do hate getting trounced, I'm not going to lie.) The trick is to look at every experience as a learning opportunity, and not let it go straight from your emotions to your fists, and then hit someone too hard. Er, or not at all.

Sure, we also practice control, but that's control over your muscles, balance and coordination, not your emotions. And emotions are way harder to manage.

Thus it is in writing.

Wow, that makes all of this sound very dramatic.

Back to writing...I feel like there are two sides to Self-Control:
1-Butt in chair and hands on keyboard
2-Dealing with the meltdowns

The first is easy to explain—do not allow anything to interrupt your planned writing time. Get in the chair and start typing. It might be awesome and it might be awful. Doesn't matter. Do what you have to do.

The second—dealing with the meltdowns—is a little more tricky. As a writer, it is sometimes hard for me to NOT get angry and upset at: my manuscript, my characters, my life for not cooperating with my writing time line myself for not writing everything perfectly the first try.

These are mental games. I hate mental games—I loose too much. But as a writer you need to be able to deal with your own inner dialogue, which may or may not be helpful, and move forward, no matter what it screams at you. Own it. Control it. Do your best to get over it.

Any other aspects of self-control that I didn't cover?

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