Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wisdom on Wednesdays: Accountability

Usually, I'm kind of a master of procrastination: I blog, I watch TV, I read, I wander aimlessly through the house looking for something to do. But lately, at least where writing is concerned, I have had a fire under my butt. I've been churning out words and ideas like nobody's business.

Why? Lots of reasons. But I think right now, the biggest reason is that I've made myself accountable to someone. Or make that a few someones. So that's my wisdom for today: if you find yourself in a writing rut, make a goal and then make yourself accountable to someone. Choose wisely; make it someone you would never, ever want to disappoint. Someone like your CP, or your spouse, or your mentor. Assign yourself a reward for when you meet your goal. And then, when that fire is good and stoked, go after your goal.

For me, the secret is in the numbers. And it can't be someone who would love me anyway; it has to be writer-friends, whose professional opinion of me would be partly formed by whether or not I can achieve this goal. And sometimes, I don't even tell them. I just think to myself, so-and-so would expect me to be able to finish this by such-and-such a time.

How about you? Who are you accountable to?


  1. NaNoWRiMo was perfect for that or If there are deadlines for submissions entries. I'll even say my crit group! but most of all it's knowing that my kids get homef from school at four and I can't write when they are home so I better finish my days goals before that. Horray for public school!

  2. At least with my writing, I'm accountable to myself.

    Congrats on cranking out high words counts!

  3. Sometimes I'll enter contests to make sure I get something written. I've been thinking I need to enroll in a class to give me someone to be accountable to.

  4. That's great Ishta good for you! I have submitted a pb this week, will continue edits on my rhyming WIP and also started a YA novel in verse last night. I think it's more of a practise for something else I want to write. I lost 7 chapters of a YA novel years ago and I might re-write it as best I can in verse. I think I am self-powered at the moment, less time because of puppy is helping focus.

  5. Go you! I think you've hit on a big point here - the importance of accountability. Sometimes, it's hard for me to stick to a personal goal or deadline, but if there's someone else who expects me to DO something, I'll really push to meet their expectations. It's extra motivation that I need.

    I, too, am a master of procrastination. I wish they gave out degrees for this kind of thing. :)