Friends reading together

accountability definition

As writers, we like to find our little corner, whether that’s somewhere in nature, or our kitchen table, and sit and think and sit some more and maybe write something down and not be disturbed. Most definitely though, we DO NOT want to be asked, ‘So what did you write today?’ Because there’s nothing more frustrating than having to explain how ending up with nothing really was still doing something. Right? Of course, if we did happen to write something there’s NO WAY we’re going to be sharing until it’s absolutely perfect, so people should really be more patient and just wait until we’ve written something we’re proud of and then maybe we’ll let them read it. Or not.

While it might seem like living the dream, despite those interruptions from people of course, what happens when we really do start jotting down a good idea? How do we persist with it? We’ll never know if it has the potential to be more than just a thought unless we keep going. Even when what we’re writing starts to become something we don’t like that doesn’t mean stop – it means revise. Try as we might to avoid answering those tough questions, there comes a time in every writer’s journey when going it alone stops being enough.

Do you have the courage to ask a friend, ‘Hey, can you check in with me once a week to ask what I’ve been writing?’ or once a month if you’re not writing full time?

We’ll let you in on a little secret…if it’s your idea then you won’t be mad when they ask!

This doesn’t have to be a person who knows anything about writing. In fact, the less creative they are the better, because then they’ll just flood you with compliments about that paragraph you know is nothing snazzy. We don’t mean avoid proper constructive criticism, because that is essential, but it can wait until later. Find someone you’re comfortable sharing your thoughts with and who will be interested to hear about wherever your writings been taking you, even if you haven’t written anything. If you’re able to be honest with this person about why you haven’t written anything, then you’re still moving in leaps and bounds, and you can start to take action.

What do you do next then? Maybe after all that, you don’t have a draft, but you have an idea that’s been smashed to pieces, regathered and fleshed out into characters, settings, sub plots and symbolism and is ready to be written. Maybe you do have some of that draft work done and you’re ready for some more serious nudging and feedback from like-minded creatives! Whatever stage you’re at with your masterpiece we hope you remember the importance of accountability – even though the thought is frightening. And for those of you who like jumping in the deep end, sign up for ‘Year of the novel’ and give yourself the accountability you need to accomplish your goal. With five full-day workshops scheduled throughout the whole year, what better way to keep persisting than by going through the process with fellow writers and fantastic support from professionals?

To register for ‘Year of the Novel’ or for more information click here.

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