Putting Your Writing First by Using Accountability

Do your writing first!

Leave the dishes and your exercise routine and everything else–and just write. Haven’t we all heard that advice a hundred times?

I have–but it’s something I still struggle with after thirty years of writing.

Don’t feel like less of a writer if this describes you too. Just admit it–and find a way to deal with it.

Here’s my own plan…

The First 2013 Challenge

Along with a good number of you, I joined the “31 Minutes for 31 Days: the Challenge” at the beginning of January. So far, I’ve written 19 out of the 21 days. While not a perfect score, it’s much better than I’ve done for months!

Accountability, thy name is Sherryl!

What happens when the 31-Day Challenge is over? I’ll be ready!

My writer friend, Sherryl Clark, will be my accountability person as we encourage each other to pursue our goals. On January 28, we are beginning a 28-day challenge that includes (1) writing first and (2) staying off-line until the day’s writing is done. And we’re supposed to confront (nicely) when our partner isn’t keeping her commitment.

Why the need for such accountability?

At first glance, it wouldn’t seem necessary. We both have detailed written goals, put in lots of work hours, and truly LOVE to write. Even so, we weren’t getting enough writing done on our own projects. (We wrote for others, critiqued, reviewed, taught, and blogged–but by the time we got around to our own books, we were too tired.)

Ready, Set, Go!

So, we made a deal, Sherryl and I. We have committed to writing first thing each morning on our own projects. [Note later: I just found that Sherryl blogged about it today too! Read her "Goal setting for writers who don’t set goals."]

I’m aiming for a minimum of an hour daily. If I can do more, great, but however much I get written, I’ve promised to spend time on my book writing first.

When we’re done, we’ll email each other to say how long we wrote. It won’t take us long to send that email, but since I’ll know Sherryl is waiting for my report, I bet I get the writing done.

Plan Ahead!

It’s on my schedule first now. And I’m planning ahead for success.

I take time before I quit each day to set up my desk with all the materials I’ll need to get started right away in the morning.

One iron-clad rule I plan to stick to: absolutely NO Internet until the writing is done.

Do YOU write first thing each morning, before you get caught up in the day’s demands? If so, what are the tricks YOU use to make it work?

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