Sunday, 1 April 2012

A is for Accountability

If only I had nothing to distract me – if only I could spend each day sitting and writing to my heart’s content. The truth is I have a full-time job, a family and all the other stuff that is real life.

 Not writing isn’t an option, so I schedule my time. After years of struggling to ‘fit it all in’, I’ve finally got a plan that works for me. How do I do it?

I write a list each week, I schedule what I’m going to do for the next seven days. Not only my writing life, I also plan in other things that make me happy. Stuff I want to fit into my every day. That is the key, fitting it into your everyday life. Making an appointment with yourself to do these things. If its writing that dreaded synopsis, producing a first draft or eating cake and drinking tea from China cups in some quaint tea-room. Multi-tasking and combining one or two of them can work.

Planning is the key, which is why I’m writing a list each week. It quantifies what I need to do; it’s my own unique road map on which I try to travel each week. I call it the ‘Goal’ list. Yes, I tick things off, in my notebook. The writer’s notebook? You all have one of these right? You do, I know you carry one about with you, so you can jot down ideas before they are forgotten.
The notebook makes me accountable; however putting my intentions on my blog, makes me far more accountable. Let me say straightaway, I don’t always achieve all of my goals each week, sometimes things happen, or I’ve given myself too much to do, and that’s a different blog post altogether. Mostly though, I’ve given myself achievable targets.

Here’s another idea, what about an accountability partner? Another writer can help you reach your writing goals. You can help each other, by checking in via email, phone call or perhaps a weekly meeting over a cuppa.

However you choose to make yourself accountable, one thing’s is for sure, you’ll get more done, and you’ll meet your deadlines and goals far quicker. What do you think?


  1. Excellent start to the Challenge. I agree with you that putting your goals up on your blog makes you more accountable. I sometimes slip if I'm just doing something for myself, but if a whole bunch of people are watching and expecting results, I'm much more likely to get the task done.

  2. Well... wish I could be so organised! A very nice start, but this blogger has problems in looking much beyond the next three days :-) A pleasure to read you ))

  3. Great post. I am a freelance website developer, so I don't have to work full-time. But still I find myself struggling to meet specific goals, like putting down a certain amount of words each day. I find that going public with your goals (through your blog or wherever) does help.

  4. I agree with you on accountability - I also plan my week ahead with a writing schedule stuck to my wall. At the bottom of the sheet, there is the quote "Suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret" :)

  5. This is a great idea.I have never written a plan.I have only recently started writing and I'm afraid I do get annoyed when I have an afternoon of writing planned and I am interupted.My notebook is my iphone,you have to keep up with technology,or so I'm told. Great start to challenge.

  6. In other words, you're hoping we'll wield the whip if you slacken off. Nice one. I firmly believe in the 'give a job to a busy girl' ethos. Now my kids have left home and I no longer have a day job I can write from the minute I get up until bedtime... but I don't!

  7. What a fantastic idea! I feel the same too. In fact we were talking about that kind of support in my writers' group. I'm almost finished writing my non-fiction book and I definitely need to plan ahead now. Thanks for your great post and looking forward to visiting again and read your posts.

  8. I agree aboutputting things on your blog making you more accountable. I find challenges, like this one or NaNoWriMo make me work harder to meet my goals because they are non-negotiable.
    Really good post.

  9. excellent start to the challenge! now I need to come up with a plan myself

    Happy A to Z

  10. Wow! Thank you all for your comments. I had better get on with it then.

    Lots to do over the next few weeks should keep me busy and out of trouble.

  11. I struggle with motivation and accountability too (don't we all) but this year I've found that the Write 1 Sub 1 challenge has really helped keep me productive and getting things done LOL I do put my goals on my blog too, like you do, but usually only once a year :)

  12. This post is really great. The writer's notebook is an excellent idea, as having one place to keep track of things would help immensely. Fantastic first challenge post! :)

  13. I'm a list maker which does seem to help, and I do try make a time for myself each day whether it's for exercise, lunch with a friend or writing time. Accountability to others and ourselves is important.
    A2ZMommy and What’s In Between

  14. I try to set aside an hour every day for writing. Trouble is I am in "editing" stage (which I hate) and that hour has become "Playing stupid games on Facebook and not edit hour".

    I need some accountability to be sure.

    Looking forward to all your posts this month!

    The Other Side
    The Freedom of Nonbelief

  15. Christine - Ben putting them on the blog since January and its working out mostly...

    Honore - Thank You!

    Michael - Think we all struggle with word counts each day.

    Catherine - Love the quote!

    Cassam - I just got an IPhone, and I've just started with Evernote, which is excellent so far...

    Ros - I can always find an excuse not to do something too.

    Emmakerry - I agree, I also did NaNoWriMo for my sins!

    baygirl32 - I am sure you can whip a plan up for yourself.

    rondahparish - Not heard of Write 1 Sub 1 but I think I get the idea.

    Tracey - Totally agree with you

    Lilia - I love notebooks!

    Timothy - We are all easily distracted.

  16. I don't have a notebook I carry with me (any ideas I get, I use my phone) but I do have accountability buddies. A friend and I started a little group with the intention of blogging about our goals every month and cheering each other on. We called it Are You Writing Now or #AYWN For me it's working pretty good because I've never set goals before and now I have a reason to and a drive to achieve them so I can post about it.


I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!

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