Writing Wednesday: The Pancake Accountability Club
One of the things I struggle with the most as a writer is accountability. Sure, I have goals, and I try to be organized about them, but ultimately I only have to answer to myself, and it’s easy to skive off work early when you’re your own boss. It’s even easier to tell yourself, “A novel? What novel? I never said anything about writing a novel.”
(This way, if your first or second or even third attempt doesn’t get published it doesn’t matter. Because you never told anyone about it in the first place, so there’s no one to answer to.)
(I’m not at that point yet, by the way. I’m just saying. Hypothetically.)
Talking things over with PIC has been helpful. He even took me to dinner at a very fancy, very expensive restaurant in Old City (Amada) to celebrate the fact that I finally finished the edits to my first draft and actually sent the manuscript to my agent.
Here are some photos for you to drool over.
But nothing compares to talking writing with, you know, other writers. Boyfriends can be supportive but it’s your girlfriends who can really help you kick it into high gear.
So I invited all of my fellow writer friends to join what I have come to call The Pancake Club. Basically because I really like pancakes.
(Seriously. Some people want cigarettes after great sex, I just want pancakes.)
The premise is this: we get together once a month, we actually tell one another what we’re writing, we write for a bit, we eat pancakes and we hold each other accountable.
When I told PIC of my brilliant idea, he gave me a strange, somewhat anxious look, a look that said, “I’m not going to tell you what to do but are you sure about this?”
“It will be great,” I assured him.
“Just be careful.”
Turns out we’d had a slight miscommunication regarding pancake club membership. He thought I’d invited a bunch of random writers from the internet to come to my house, when in fact I’d only invited writers I actually know.
(“I’m crazy,” I told him. “But not that crazy!”)
And so, to all of my fellow bloggers/writers/content creators, how do you hold yourselves accountable? What are some of your more successful strategies?
11 Responses to “Writing Wednesday: The Pancake Accountability Club”
I was taking forever-and-a-day to finish my dissertation, until it was made clear to me that there *really was* such a thing as getting kicked out of the graduate program for taking too long. And for lower-stakes work, both academic and creative (because I do both), any situation of having others expecting a product from me by a certain date gets me moving to produce. If it’s a play I’m writing, I schedule a reading as soon as I’m sure I have a viable idea, so there’s a specific date when actors are expecting scripts. Glad to know the time is in sight, when we’ll be seeing your novel out.
Yes, setting goals that involve people (i.e. actors reading your script) is a pretty sure fire way to keep on track! Doesn’t leave you much leeway for slacking 🙂
I don’t, that family travel book is still an outline, because you are too busy to write it for me 🙂
Well, I recently decided to take advantage of KDP’s pre-order option – forcing me to pick a date and stick to it or lose my access to pre-order for a year. Now I’m charged with making sure my full-length debut is copy edited, formatted, and basically ready to go by that date. But I’m also in constant contact with one of my critique partners. And I do mean CONSTANT. We’re both usually working on something, and a daily email exchange is normal for us (usually with a complaint about how such and such isn’t cooperating, or there should be more dead bodies, or can I insert a completely non-gratuitous sex scene here [we’re both romance authors]). Setting deadlines for myself has helped quite a bit, mostly because I’m the type to beat myself up if I miss them.
Yes! I hear you in the “beat myself up” department! I have one good friend who has been super helpful with critiques but the others are too busy with their own projects (and I can’t really blame them) but it sounds like you’ve got a great partnership set up!
I think I hold myself accountable mostly by acknowledging my own faults. I know that there are days when I don’t want to write, so I prepare for that in advance, getting ahead one day so that I can reasonably slack off on another day. I work best in “bursts” of productivity.
Yeah, I have started tracking my hours to take advantage of “bursts” and allow for flexibility on days when I don’t have the time. I managed to reach my “total hours” goal for January but I’ve gotten pretty sucked into home repairs this month so I might fall short.
I was/am the member of a wonderful writers’ group, but be very careful, because there are many bad writers’ groups out there. The Victoria Park Writers’ Group in Western Australia encouraged and emotionally supported me while I set up my blog (www.jenniereid.com.au) and published my novel.
I have read this blog forever and not sure how I ended up back at this older post – BUT just read the comments and blown away that in this big wide world, the above comment is from a person in my tiny suburb, i my city, in my state of Australia 😛 Hi Jennie! Love from Vic Park 🙂
Whoa! Small world indeed! 😉
I believe the writers’ group is still functioning, even though I’m no longer a member. I found it through Meetups. I can be contacted via this post.