How can I be accountable for my writing?
There are actually a bunch of ways to be accountable. I’m going to list a few of my favorites, but don’t stop to think that this is all there is. There are so many unique and great ways to be accountable.
- An Accountability Buddy
So, finding an accountability buddy isn’t as easy as it sounds. It took me a while to build up the courage to start sharing and connecting with my accountability buddy. Really I just needed to step up and say that I was actually doing this and I was finally, excuse the cliché, putting my money where my mouth is. Actually, I have two accountability buddies and they both serve a different purpose, but that is a different post.
An accountability buddy is someone you can use in place of an agent, publisher, or editor, if you don’t already have one. That isn’t to say that it is your agent, publisher, or editor’s job to tell you to get off the couch and start writing, but generally speaking those people will have deadlines for you and the truth is, having that deadline can help drastically when it comes to producing a product.
Accountability buddies are the people you can turn to when you need someone to cheer you on, give you guidance, affirm all your hard work, or just stand there while you talk about how you can’t get past a current scene. They are someone you confess that you are actually working on something and you want them in on your crazy and often uncharted journey.
If you find a good one, hold on to them.
There are tons of blogs out there on the pros and cons of NaNoWriMo, National November Writing Month, so I won’t bore you by repeating those topics. Check out my Pinterest page to read a few of my favorites. But the reality is that NaNo works for some and not for others.
I loved NaNo! It was an opportunity to gather together with other writers, proclaim you are dedicating a month to your work and drinking a lot of coffee while doing word sprints. It is chaotic, busy, and a little bit crazy.
One of my favorite things about NaNo was seeing my stat page increase everyday. That tiny detail of seeing how your work is actually moving forward is pretty awesome. That in it self is a big draw for me and participating in NaNo.
The reality is though, NaNo is tough! If it teaches you anything, it’s that you can do what you put your mind to. I would recommend everyone try NaNo, or Camp NaNo for a lighter version of the real thing, at least once.
I don’t know why, but when I map out my book in a calendar it keeps me on track. There are tons of free planners out there to keep track of your writing. It is really nice to see those numbers jump up every day. Also, writing something down sometimes makes things more real. Dedicating yourself day in and day out becomes something of a ritual, as regular as brushing your teeth.
Planners also allow you to kind of see when you should complete a project. It acts like a deadline or even like a progress chart. I’m a big fan of planners because I think if you plan your life, you can plan your writing. Becoming organized on every level really helps find the time and place for your writing. Be it during a break at work, before your kids wake up, or right before bed, planners help find the time.
They aren’t joking when they say, “There’s an App for that!”
There are a lot of writing apps out there. Apps are good for organizing thoughts, researching your next novel, staying focused on your writing, and even apps for finding the next thing to read.
Although you probably are thinking that apps are just another means to distract you, think again. Some of my favorite apps are actually made to keep you on task. Check out my post of my favorite apps here.
Okay, I don’t mean to toot my own horn here, okay maybe I do, but the first thing you need to do is find out ways to hold yourself accountable. You’ve obviously stumbled across my website for a reason, but take a look around. The point of this website is to help you find encouragement and ways to hold yourself accountable along with being an accountability partner.
Other website can block you from checking your facebook, or doing pointless amounts of research, or just getting distracted from your writing. Some websites, like twitter, can lead you to places to do word wars and word sprints. NaNo is another good place to connect with other writers who are trying to finish their novels. Remember, it’s about reaching out, making connections, and focusing on what is really important.
Now, this list is by all means NOT conclusive. If you’ve got something to share, please PLEASE do it. I’m a huge fan of sharing information and helping each other out. Too many times people think they’ve found some great way to stay focused and then hoard that information from others. We are all working to meet the same goal, we want to finish something great!
Keep writing. I know you can do it!