The singer/composer Judy Collins (“Send in the Clowns”, “Both Sides Now”) in her wonderful book on writing called “Morning, Noon and Night“, talks about the necessity of developing good living AND writing habits in order to be successful. As you read this, please know that her only child committed suicide at the age of 33, and she fought alcoholism most of her life.
“My singing has brought me a career of international proportions that has taught me discipline. I have to keep my body fit. I have to keep my attitude positive, I have to eat and sleep and walk and talk in a healthy manner. I cannot afford the luxury of whining, and I cannot afford the sloth of letting my body or my mind go, for then they would not be ready for the long tour, the short walk, the days on end on airplanes and cars, the hotel rooms and the stages on which I make my living.
“And if I am not disciplined about my writing, I will not get any writing done! Nor any songs written.
“There is talent, and there is the discipline to get the talent to pay out. I have to harness the talent, use the discipline, and I then find that, surprise, there is pleasure in the discipline, and the discipline will say to me, I am not your enemy! I am your friend!
“Finally, the malaise lifts, and I can see clearly again. But these times are not ever entirely over, and I must always be willing to go back to discipline for the lessons it brings of freedom.”