Accountability: Making Commitment Work for You

December is just around the corner. No, really. It starts tomorrow. And if you are anything like me you are looking around at everything that you meant to accomplish but didn’t. The reality is pretty simple – most of us are best at getting things done if we are held accountable. That’s why NaNoWriMo works so well for so many people. Announce that you are doing it and there is an expectation.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways what you can build accountability into even December.

Write It In

Do you use a calendar app to remind you when it is time to pick up the kids from school? The good news is that you can also program it to remind you to write.

A paper calendar isn’t going to ping you on your phone but that’s just as well. Everyone and everything wants to ping me so I can ignore that quite well. But if I put it on my calendar I am going to do it. I’ve even got a color coded system.

White washi tape – billing

Orange washi tape – writing deadline

Yellow washi tape – meeting

Grey washi tape – something to do with the classes I teach

Critique/Accountability Group

Another way to hold yourself accountable is to join a critique or accountability group although the two work a bit differently. A critique group involves critiquing work. If I know I am going to have a meeting every other Wednesday, I make sure to have something to share every other Wednesday. That’s at least two chapters a month.

An accountability group holds you accountable and, although they may also critique, that isn’t the point. My critique group is all children’s writers. My accountability group covers the writing spectrum. But they are both great motivators.

Take a Class

Another way to create accountability for yourself is to take a class. What you need to take depends on what you need to work on. I took a class on social media to help me plan out my posts. Efficiency in that area helps me have more time for my novels. I teach classes on researching children’s nonfiction, writing children’s nonfiction, and querying your work whether it is nonfiction or fiction, for children and adults. They are all offered through WOW! Women on Writing where other instructors teach about writing TV pilots, blogging, screen writing and more. Check out the listings here. With a class, the combination of a monetary investment and deadlines are a great motivation.

Different motivators work for different people. The trick is in finding one that works for you.


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