Accountability, as defined by dictionary.com, is the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable.
In an office setting, you have the accountability of the time clock or the boss over your shoulder.
As writers, we are responsible for our writing projects. We are responsible for the whole process; creating, submitting, following-up, billing, marketing, etc…
And that’s scary. We don’t have someone to delegate burdensome tasks to. We don’t have someone to brainstorm ideas with or to pick up the marketing ball while we roll the creative ball. All that juggling can quickly overwhelm even the most productive person.
And when we get overwhelmed, we shut down and find respite in another task: funny cat videos, shopping, cleaning (yes, laundry is preferable to marketing), tending kids despite them being self-sufficient, grooming cats that have no hair, researching how to research, and other non-urgent time-wasters.
So How Do We Stay On Task?
When there is a tracking method in place, we reach our goals quicker. We know that setting goals and working towards them is our first action in managing the time beast.
A great way to track our progress is to have someone we meet with regularly. Someone we can set yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals with. Someone we can brainstorm with. Someone who cares enough to remind us when we need to honor our reality.
That person is an accountability partner. Another person in a similar boat.
Meeting in person is fabulous, but with all the technology we have today, we don’t have to despair that we are the only writer in a 300-hundred mile radius. We have inexpensive resources at our fingertips.
We can check in through email, phone, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, text, or any other social avenue we prefer.
We go out and find our tribe, so to speak. We find someone we connect with.
Some people hear the word “accountability” and they run screaming. Fear of having to check in and quantify any small goal with anyone is horrifying.
Some people hear the word “accountability” and they assume they have a “life guide.” Someone who will hold their hand and guide them through every minuscule step of a project.
In reality, any extreme is too much. The middle ground is the safe spot. It’s like Goldilocks’ “just right bowl of porridge.” It’s the right temperature that feeds and nurtures our soul.
Where Do You Start to Find An Accountability Partner?
Start by joining in our writing sprints on Twitter. Use the hashtag #SprintWithWGT and jump in and say Hi! We pop on randomly throughout the week.
Want to make sure someone is on at the same time?
Linda is on Wednesday evenings at 8:00 pm EST
Diane is on Monday mornings at 5:30 am PST
As you join in the writing sprints you’ll find people who tend to write at the same time that you do. Reach out. Say hi and see if there’s a connection. It’s okay to be like Goldilocks and test the various options. Eventually, you’ll find that “just right” partner.