Monday, April 1, 2013
A is for Accountability!
Welcome to Day 1 of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge here at Reading on the F Train. Today's topic is Accountability!
I think I've mentioned this plan here and there in passing, but I don't think I've blogged about it yet (if I have...I'm sorry. I'm losing my marbles.)
For the last few weeks, Jaime and I have been holding each other accountable for writing 300 words a day, 6 days a week. Because this is a job, we also accrue one sick/personal day a month to accommodate the unexpected.
Now, if you are a writer, think about this. Be honest with yourself. How long does it take you to write 300 first-drafty words? I average between 15 min (in a real, focused hurry) and an hour (if I let the internet distract me or give myself brain breaks, usually playing Dominion online.) I sometimes write a hundred words, do something else, and come back. A hundred words--I'll bet you can knock that out in five or ten minutes (and certainly with practice you can.)
The real trick is making yourself look for that time in your day. And that's where accountability has been so great. Are my words perfect? Of course not. Is 300 words a day a huge number? Nope. But I'm reliably writing every day, because I know that Jaime is waiting to see what I've written! (I should add that at this stage, there's no critiquing--it's just an exchange of first draft words, to prove we've written.)
And it really adds up! In the last three weeks, I've written just under 7600 words--compare that with around 15K of total writing in the months of December through mid-March. I'm on track to write in six weeks as much as I wrote in three and a half months!
So my question to any writers reading this is: how do you hold yourselves accountable? Do you have a writing group or partner, or do you have a self-motivating system?