This week I met with a new friend to set up what we’re calling an accountability partnership. A (she asked that I keep her identity private) is a writer, a columnist, who is looking to write fiction. I met her at the recent Japan Writers’ Workshop and we had lunch together there. At that lunch, I was musing about something said by Lauren Shannon, conference presenter, writer, caterer, political activist, and all around superwoman about accountability. It was Lauren who discussed writing in groups versus alone, making each writer accountable to the others in the group. It resonated with me.
So weeks later, A and I met to set up such a partnership – a true accountability partnership for our writing. Both A and I are pretty regimented about the way we work. We want to be able to set aside dedicated time for it and dedicated space as well. We want to be accountable to each other daily for both a writing goal and a time commitment. We want to plan each week of goals and time in advance.
We set up a schedule for this first week where she is going to work for 90 minutes and produce 500 words per day and I am going to work for one hour a day and hopefully by the end of the week, produce a re-worked outline for the first draft of a novel I’ve completed which needs major editing. That was our discussion on Monday morning.
Monday and Tuesday went beautifully. Not only did we do the work and send each other an email at night, but we both felt more motivated and on top of tasks that needed doing besides these dedicated writing tasks. For example, I knew I had to get in my hour, so I made sure to get to the post office nice and early before I got distracted by other things. In addition, I know I’ll have a lot to do on Thursday, so I’ve worked out a schedule for myself for the day to squeeze in the hour first thing in the morning. As for A, she is so amazing that she didn’t even let a call from her sister, which took 90 minutes, deter her from her daily goal, and she said normally a derailment like that would have put her off for the whole day. But knowing she was accountable to me forced her to keep to her word.
Today is day three of said partnership. I see great potential in it for not only writing, but keeping promises to myself and organizing my days. What a great value.
Certainly I will keep you apprised our progress, but right now I think we can expect great things!