13 January 2012

Walking the Walk by Lara Schiffbauer

Today is LLC Friday and I am pleased to host Lara Schiffbauer, the newest member of the Life List Club. Visit me at David Walker's Blog where, in an open letter, I make a modest proposal for traditional publishers. But first, please join me in welcoming Lara.

Discipline, Planning and Work. Eeew…

Our imagination gives birth to our dreams. It allows us to re-experience our past, and decide the direction of our future.

Not only that, but our imagination works the same way when we write. It allows us to call upon our past experiences and weave them into alternate realities also known as stories. It lets us conceptualize how others may be feeling in any given situation, or what sensory experiences we might have in situations we have never experienced.

As writers, we really like that imagination stuff. There is a creative rush in stringing our experiences on paper, knitting them together with ink, and ending up with a new individual in a new world that could only have come from the recesses of our minds.

It is easy to get stuck in the daydreaming part of ourselves, talking the talk. It’s the fun part.

The unfortunate truth is that if we don’t walk the walk, we aren’t going to go anywhere with reaching our dreams.

That is where discipline, planning and work come into play.

Goal setting is a part of planning. It is taking a look at the dream (where we want to go) and coming up with a series of steps to get there. Goal setting is moving our dreams from the left side of our brain into the right side.

After we set goals, though, we still have to see them through. We have to have self-discipline.

My experience with self-discipline is rather iffy. I married a man who was incredibly disciplined. I hoped it would wear off on me. Discipline by osmosis.

The reality is that, apparently, chaos is a stronger force than discipline. The poor guy was doomed from the day we got married, and I didn't have an easy fix. I had to learn to monitor myself, and hold myself accountable to meeting my goals and finishing my projects. My husband had to go to self-discipline rehab.

Yes, it is work. It isn’t always fun and sometimes includes sacrifice. But, if we want to give our dreams their best chance at becoming reality, it is work worth doing.

What has been your experience with moving your dreams from the left side of your brain to the right side? Is it easy to make that switch, or difficult?

Lara Schiffbauer writes contemporary fantasy and general fiction, and has been lucky enough to see some of her short stories published. By day she works as a school social worker in an elementary school and at night juggles writing, playing with her two adorable little boys, and doing everything else that has to get done in a day. You can find her blogging at motivationforcreation, or tweeting at @LASbauer.


  1. What a great inaugural LLC post, Lara! As for me, I am definitely one of the ones who finds it difficult to transition to that right-brain mode and get structured as well as creative. Part of that is that I use up every (limited) ounce of my right brain in my non-writing work. But I'm getting better at it : ).

  2. I enjoyed this post immensely. Harnessing the imagination so that you're productive instead of just dreaming about the project--yes, that's the discipline part. I go in cycles: sometimes it's easy, but sometimes I let other things intervene. But I like to think I'm getting more consistent.

  3. Thanks so much, Pam and Elizabeth! I think personality has a lot to play with the ease with which we make that shift, too. I kind of walk the line between right and left brain, so I get to the point where I have to get that structure. I actually can feel uncomfortable when things are too "loose" in my life. It's all about that balance. :)

  4. Welcome to our writer's club, Lara. We are thrilled to have you join us. Elizabeth Varadan will also start blogging with us soon.

    You are certainly not alone on the discipline front. I could certainly use a little more myself. Talent and discipline go hand in hand. A lot of creative talent can go to waste without enough discipline.

    On the other hand, with a little talent and a lot of discipline you may be able to get by. Discipline seems to have a lot in common with hard work.

  5. Well done first post, Lara! Like most creative people, I too suffer from resisting the discipline bug. I have no problem sitting at my computer ready to work but, I have a problem working instead of socializing. I've learned techniques that work for me...most of the time, but it will always be a struggle. I guess we're all in this together! Thanks for hosting, Gary!

  6. So true. The daydreaming part is so much fun but the work part...well, sometimes that's not as fun. We do have to discipline ourselves if we're going to achieve any of our writing dreams.

  7. Thanks, Gary, Marcia and Sonia! I have really enjoyed your posts today, too, and encourage everyone to go and read them. Some days are better than others for discipline for me, and I just have to sometimes force myself to get the work at least started. It's always that first step!

  8. I love the line "my husband was doomed from the start." I like to think of it as improvements. LOL.


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