Let’s face it, writing is hard. That blank page staring back at you expectantly, the blinking cursor daring you to put it to work. And your brain going I think I can, I can’t, I think I can, I can’t…
With all that, it’s no wonder that we writers clean and do laundry, among other less thrilling exercises, just so we don’t have to write.
But without that butt in chair time, we’ll never finish that manuscript, never get an agent, never sell that book to a publisher and never see our work on bookshelves.
So, back to that blank page…
Want help with getting the work done? Get a writing buddy.
The wonderful Bethany Hegedus and I buddied up for writing, and it has been a huge help. Sure we have our good days and our bad days with our individual manuscripts, but we have each other to celebrate and commiserate.
Here’s how it works: Bethany and I set a joint weekly goal of 25 pages. Then each day, after our separate writing sessions, we email each other with our weekly take. No judgement if we’re below; we reply with supporting emails pushing each other to go further tomorrow. And if we did well, our emails are filled with congratulations and more supporting pushing for our next session.
Bethany is a morning person, waking around 6:30 am and writing before I’m even at the computer. I usually start my writing day around 9 am and go through noon. Her check-in email is usually in my inbox before I start writing, and my reply is in her inbox later to help her start her next day.
Having a writing buddy gives you accountability and support. Setting writing goals, either pages or word count, is an invaluable way to help you keep moving forward. But no matter how you try to stick to those goals, on days when the words aren’t flowing, it’s easy to wander off to water the plants or rearrange your closet. Who’s going to know? Only you. And quickly, that manuscript or revision that could have taken you a year or less is stretched to two years, three… more.
If you have a writing buddy, someone you have to email every day with an update, it gives you more of a reason to put your butt in your chair and get down to work. None of us want to feel like we’re disappointing someone else.
So, keep your writing on track and find a writing buddy. You don’t have to have the same goals, but make sure you share your goals so your buddy can support you.
Do you have other ways that you stay accountable to your writing goals?