Most of us write as a second career. It’s squeezed into the scraps of time between paying jobs, childcare, eldercare, and laundry. Those scraps are prime real estate. Too often your writing time gets sucked into the vortex of unproductivity.
Accountability can keep you focused so you achieve your goals and protect your time.
Here’s how I keep myself accountable:
- Critique group: My critique group meets monthly to review each other’s work. I try to have something to submit each month.
- 12 x 12 Challenge: This year I joined the 12 x 12 online writing challenge. The goal is to write a picture book manuscript each month. There are monthly check ins and incentives to keep you focused.
- The humble checkbox: My New Years resolution this year is to work on writing 5 days a week. It could be 5 minutes or several hours. A new manuscript, a blog post, or a plot outline. The point is to make some small step toward this thing called a writing career. In my homemade planner I keep track with a simple checkbox. I can tell at a glance how I’m doing. It’s only January and I’ve already fallen off the wagon because life. BUT I’m getting much more done than I would otherwise.
There are lots of ways to make yourself accountable. The important thing is to find one (or more) that works for you. It could be a checkbox that only you see or a person who checks in on you. Writing friends have been there and know what it’s like. Just find something and get writing.