Get It Done: Five Accountability Strategies That Work
by Rochelle Melander
If you hang out with chickens, you’re going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you’re going to fly. -Steve Maraboli
What stands between you and a finished product—a book, article, blog post or podcast?
When I speak to people who have a deep desire to finish a project and can’t seem to do it, they cite many reasons:
+I don’t have enough time.
+I don’t know how.
+I’m not sure I’m a good enough writer.
+I’m confused on how to get it published.
+I don’t have anyone to hold me accountable.
As a writing coach, I can help people overcome most of these challenges in just one session. But one of these hurdles requires ongoing support: accountability. When it comes to starting and finishing projects that are new or difficult, it helps to have someone to hold you accountable.
If you’re struggling to keep writing in the midst of life’s other demands, here are five ways you can find accountability:
Make a deadline pact
Chris Baty started National Novel Writing Month to give writers a deadline, the one element he believed writers needed to succeed. Create a deadline pact with another writer. Promise that by a certain date you will each write 50,000 words, finish a project, or complete a portion of a manuscript. To make it more fun and easier to succeed, make a bet. Perhaps the loser can treat the winner to dinner or a glass of wine!
Create a critique partnership
Professional writers study great writing to learn how to best tell a story. When we invite others to read and critique our writing, we expand our understanding of good writing. We also learn where our blind spots are. From complex comments on structure and voice to technical lessons on commas and run-on sentences, a good critique will strengthen our writing. Find a colleague who is at about the same writing level as you are, exchange manuscripts, and give each other feedback.
Challenge a colleague
A few years ago, a friend and I were talking about how tough it was to write while all that fun social media kept popping up on our screens. So we made a deal: for one month we’d abstain from social media and online surfing until noon each day.
When I exercise, I like to do sprints: run or bike really fast for a short period of time every 3-5 minutes. It makes my exercise session move faster. I first heard about writing sprints at a National Novel Writing Month Write-in. In a writing sprint, the writer races against the clock (and often another writer) to amass as many words as possible in a short amount of time. Find a friend online or meet in person and compete to see who can write the most words in ten to twenty minutes.
Find a Mastermind Partner
For years, I’ve met with small mastermind groups and individuals for accountability in both my business and my writing. These connections helped me to leap forward when all I really wanted to do was crawl. During these meetings, we would ask each other the same questions:
+How did you do on last week’s goals?
+What do you want to accomplish for next week?
+What support do you need to make that happen?
Because of these regular meetings, I stay focused on my goals and complete more of my projects.
How has connecting with others helped you to write more? Share your ideas below!
Many of my clients use my individual and group coaching to help them stay accountable. If you’re interested in a complimentary coaching session, sign up for one at my consultation page. And consider signing up for the Write Now! Coach Critique Group, starting again this September.
Write Now! Coach Rochelle Melander is a bestselling author, certified professional coach, and popular speaker. Melander has written ten books including Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It). As the Write Now! Coach, she teaches professionals how to write books fast, get published, and connect with readers through social media. Set up your complimentary conversation with the Write Now! Coach and get started on your publishing journey!