Holding Yourself Accountable & Staying Motivated

I’ve talked about productivity in great detail before. I’ve discussed how BICHOK is a sure-fire way to get your writing where it needs to be, how endurance can be increased, and how fear can often hold back your writing.

But what about those times when it’s just plain ol’ laziness that’s keeping you from the productivity you want? What about those days where you spend four hours at the computer and write all of 4 words because OMG! Look at all the pretties and shinies on the internet? And ungh, I’m hungry…and hey, when did that squirrel move into the tree outside my window?

Yeah, it’s kinda like that.

On those distraction-heavy days, my friend, it’s time to seek help elsewhere. It’s time to find SOMEONE ELSE to hold you accountable.

I mean, think about it: when you were in high school, you got your work done (or I hope you did…). Maybe it was at the last minute or maybe it wasn’t always your best work, but you finished. Why? Because someone else expected you to.

I’ve talked at great length about this with my author and solo-entrepreneur friends. We have no bosses! We have NO ONE to look over our shoulders and make sure we’re getting the work done.

Another thing we don’t have are people to validate us when we do make progress. So what if you had a great day writing—there’s no one there to be impressed or to pat you on the back or to say, “Great job! You deserve a raise.” We simply slog on, all alone.

But what if we put a dose of SOMEONE ELSE in our writing lives? What if we find (or start) a Twitter hashtag so we can make accountability partners? Or cheerleader/validation partners? Or what if we interact in forums or via email chains or Facebook groups? Writing is solitary, but it certainly doesn’t have to be.

I think camaraderie is one of the reasons that NaNoWriMo is SO successful for people! They’re all writing together, interacting, sharing, and keeping each other motivated.

So if you’re finding you need a bit more motivation in your life, I challenge you to find another writer who’ll hold you accountable and send you lots of smiley faces when you need ‘em. Heck, come join me in my forums—I’m definitely in need of some writing buddies!! Or add me as a friend for NaNoWriMo!

You tell me: Is this something you would ever do? Or do you already have someone like this in your writing life?

If you like what you read here, consider signing up for my newsletter, the Misfits & Daydreamers or swinging by my For Writers page!

5 Responses to Holding Yourself Accountable & Staying Motivated

  1. Katie Oct 20 2014 at 9:38 am #

    Love this post! 🙂 When I was younger, I spent soooo much time thinking up plots and characters and details, but I always hesitated to write for fear of not being perfect, and it was NaNoWriMo that finally got me to overcome that fear and just start writing. And the deadlines/accountability are a great kick in the butt! Haha. While doing NaNo, I made a few really close writing friends, and now we help keep each other accountable and cheer each other on. Having someone to share your progress with (especially when some family members just assume that writing is a glorified hobby) is such a life-saver 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!

    • Susan Oct 20 2014 at 5:18 pm #

      Oh my gosh–how cool is it that you’ve made (and kept) your writing friends from NaNo!!! I love that!! I also love that NaNo gave you the burst of courage you needed to overcome your inner editor. 😀

  2. Alexa S. Oct 20 2014 at 3:47 pm #

    This post is spot on, Susan! I’ve always found that it’s helpful to have someone holding me accountable when I want to stay motivated about a project. While writing is something I often do on my own, it’s nice to have someone to talk to about it, someone who will offer encouragement, advice and suggestion. Excited for NaNo this year!

    • Susan Oct 20 2014 at 5:19 pm #

      Thanks, Alexa!! I’m excited for NaNo, too–even though I’ll totally be a rebel this year. Still, having a whole load of people to cheer with makes the work fly. 🙂

  3. Joshua Parkhill Mar 15 2017 at 2:11 pm #

    Anyone want to keep me motivated? We can both talk shit and keep our dicks in our pants. Comedy, Drama, Screenplays, etc.
    josh at goforparkhill@gmail.com

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