With some people, you just click. That was the case with Diane and me when we began our accountability writing partnership. I don’t remember what we said to each other on our first phone call, but I remember it felt easy to talk to her. And since that first conversation three years ago our relationship has been seamless. I value her friendship, and our weekly talks help me to face a new week of goals with superhero-like enthusiasm.
Meeting Harper at the Writer’s Digest Conference last August felt like that as well. Easy, but also empowering.
Harper was sitting in front of me at a workshop. I had been talking to someone next to me, who asked what genre I write. After the session Harper turned around, having overheard that I am writing YA and asked me what my Elevator Pitch was.
We exchanged our pitches, both excited about the others and encouraged each other to kill it at the Pitch Slam.
The next time I ran into Harper I gave her my card, hoping we could stay in touch and I was so happy when I saw her message a week later.
We talked about the conference and how we were so inspired, still in conference mode. That’s when Harper asked if I was interested in writing sprints or planned writing times where we could hold each other accountable.
Oh my God! Yes, I was interested! In fact, this is exactly what Diane and I had been planning with We Got This Write Now, to grow a community, assemble allies, build friendships and within that unified energy get words written. Then share success and encourage each other to keep moving forward when there is turbulence. That’s what Harper and I have been doing since that first message, almost nightly.
This experience with Harper made me curious, and I wanted to know more about Harper’s journey and get her take on our writing sprints. She was happy to answer some questions and let me share.
1. When did you start writing?
Harper: The first stories I created were in my head. I didn’t write them down. They were lies. I grew up very poor. Poorer than most in the early 80’s. I’d spin stories about going to Disneyland, and water parks I’d never seen to distant cousins. Stories that weren’t true. My family couldn’t afford to go swimming in the 50 cents community pool, let alone afford an amusement park. Somewhere between the ages of seven and ten, I started writing poetry in a journal. Poems turned into short stories. Short stories became full manuscripts.
2. What do you write?
Harper: Currently, I write young adult fiction. YA’s my sweet spot; it’s like good candy. But I also enjoy writing Adult Fiction.
3. When did you begin branching out, attending conferences and writing events?
Harper: The first writing conference I attended was the 2012 DFW Writers Conference (Dallas Fort Worth Writers Conference in Texas). I met some pretty amazing people there. The conference offered a chance for me to step out of my shell—an opportunity to talk with real writers, published and unpublished, who shared my passion for writing and my professional writing goals.
4. I’ve been so impressed with your dedication. You often get up early and write, then write again at night. On the weekends you seem to be writing double time. Have you always put in this much writing time? If not, how did you work yourself up to it? Do you have any tips or advice?
Harper: I’m impressed with you, too! You’re writing up a storm! But to answer your question… There are several days I just don’t feel like doing it. I really don’t. But then, I think about my goals. And my characters, and my craft. And fall in love with the process all over again. I love writing. And I find when that love turns to hate (for writing) it’s usually because I’ve not written in a while, and just miss it. Or I’m stuck in a scene or chapter, agitated because I haven’t plotted as well as I should have, or could have.
5. Your drive and dedication have never made me feel as if I’m not doing enough. If anything it has given me fuel, and that’s one of the things I have loved about our sprints. What gave you the idea to ask me to sprint and be accountable with you? Do you feel that having a sprinting and accountability partner has helped you as well? If so how?
Harper: You and I both have insane drive when it comes to writing. I admire your dedication too. And it inspires me also. After meeting you at the WDC17 (Writers Digest Conference 2017 in New York), I knew I’d reach out after. Artistically, your ambition matched my own. I think everyone, no matter their writing level or experience, need active support groups, accountability partners, and positive friends on the writer’s journey. It’s tough. And when it gets tough, those people and groups keep you going when you want to throw the manuscript out the damn window.
6. We would love to hear about your future writing plans and where we can find you?
Harper: I see writing, and writing, and more writing in the very near future. I predict a hell-of-a-lot of editing, too.
My writer’s website is www.harperglennwrites.com
I’ve also started a Twitter page called Write Date Night @WriDate. For night writers to platonically meet other night writers.
It’s been fun and rewarding to have Harper as accountability/writing partner. I’m glad to see that she has the same feelings and hope our shared experience will encourage you to reach out to other writers.
If you feel a connection to another writer, then most likely an accountability partnership will propel you both forward in word count and an overall fun writing experience. But you don’t have to search; you always have us!
Join Diane and me. We will be saying hi and checking in throughout the week, but if you want to sprint at the same time here is our schedule.
Diane is on Monday mornings at 5:30 am PST
Linda is on Wednesday evenings 8:00 pm EST
Use the hashtag #SprintWithWGT
Also, join Harper on her Twitter page, Write Date Night @WriDate. Diane and I will be checking in at Write Date Night from time to time as well.
So are you ready? Grab a coffee, maybe wine, a smoothie, water, whatever, get in that chair, shout out your goals to us and then, write!