Thursday, September 17, 2020

Accountability Challenge

 Earlier this month I saw editor Angela James talking on Twitter about a free accountability challenge she was running for the month of September. Hmmm...accountability, you say? I eyed up my incomplete and overdue manuscript open on my laptop - blocked by Chrome, which had 4 tabs open, none of them writing-related - and thought, "Well, why not?"

Angela sent an introductory email and invited participants to join her Facebook group. She then broke us into smaller groups for daily check ins. I'm not a fan of Facebook groups for productivity reasons.

But for accountability reasons? Well...I'm going to be there anyway, right?

Now, I don't know about you, but I have author friends I chat with every day. We check in, encourage each other, talk about plotting, marketing, name it. But what we don't do? Hold each other accountable. I have one good author friend who tries, but she's a good friend at the end of the day. If I get cranky and ask her to back off, she does.

Reporting in to strangers, on the other hand? It's just what I needed apparently. One of the requirements of the challenge is to establish a check-in routine. Mine is to check in Monday through Friday, with weekends off. I've written every day of the challenge and have made more progress in September than I made all of July and August. I'm on track to finish this book, you guys. Words that I honestly wasn't sure I'd be able to say. Possibly ever. (Kidding, not kidding)

I'm sure there's something to the whole "back to school" feeling of September. And the fact that my son is actually back in school in person (long may it last). But if I don't meet my goal during the day while he's gone, I'm making up the time in the evenings, which I haven't done in months. Because, well, it's all about accountability, right?

What about you? How do you hold yourself accountable? I need strategies for when this 30-day challenge is over and the next book needs finishing, so tell me all your secrets!

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