One of the ways I keep writing is with the help of my accountability partner. You’re getting to know her – she’s Helen Chang who writes a weekly column here.
We have a standing telephone appointment with each other every week with the aim of supporting each other in our writing businesses. We do that by gently holding each other accountable to our goals. Like bookending, it’s another tool that can help freelance writers.
Each week we call each other and tell each other:
- What we accomplished last week.
- What got left undone.
- What we intend to accomplish this week.
An Accountability List
Last week my accountability list looked something like this:
- Stretch daily
- Workout 3x
- New client A
- New client B
- Existing Client A
- Existing Client B
- 2 blogs m-f, one on s, s.
- Best selling book idea
- Market abw
- Weekly marketing plan
- Center email
- Bill paying
- Really get my numbers straightened out
Reporting to My Accountability Partner
- Stretch daily – 5 days
- Workout 3x – twice and think I’m going to reduce it to twice for a while
- New client A – working
- New client B – working
- Existing Client A -working
- Existing Client B – working
- 2 blogs m-f, one on s, s. – done
- Best selling book idea – waiting
- Market abw – done, but not well
- Weekly marketing plan – yes, sort of
- Center email – yes
- Service – no, moved to this week
- Bill paying – partial
- Really get my numbers straightened out – finally got it really started.
I keep these lists in a single word file, adding the current list on top so it’s easy to find.
There’s something magic about knowing I’m going to be reporting to Helen. She always congratulates me on what I’ve gotten done and encourages me if something lingers for several weeks. I work to do the same for her.
It generally takes about 10 or 15 minutes. Once and awhile we’ll take longer, but only if we’re sure the other is up for it. We’re almost strictly business in this call.
I suspect a virtual accountability partner would work too.
How To Choose An Accountability Partner
I want my main accountability partner to be:
- Another women (okay, call me sexist on this one of you want.)
- Another writer roughly in my genres.
- Someone who I knew would keep her agreements to talk on a weekly schedule.
I actually meet with two other women once a week who are not writers but are in business for themselves for a combo coffee klatch and accountability session. It often works out that one of us well need to talk more than the other two, and we honor that need.
Obviously there are lots of ways to give yourself a bit of an edge.
How do you keep getting the writing done?
Image from http://www.sxc.hu