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5 Tricks to Help Hold Yourself Accountable in Your Writing

Accountability can be a tricky beast for anyone to tackle, and it can be especially tricky if  you’re an artist or a creative with a day job. It’s easy to allow our “actual jobs” to come  first and our own passion projects (be it writing, acting, painting, etc.) to fall by the way  side. And, if you’re like me, when you finally do have a spare moment to work on your  project, you procrastinate. Personally speaking, my apartment has never been cleaner  than when I’m supposed to be writing. I’ll find literally anything and everything else to do  other than write. So then, what is the key to cracking this accountability code? How can  we hold ourselves accountable when procrastination starts to get the better of us?  

Here are 5 tricks to use when you’re struggling to hold yourself accountable:  

Write First

1. Unfortunately, the early bird really does catch the worm! It can be so easy to put  other tasks at the forefront of your day and leave your own projects for last. After all,  you may not be getting paid to do your own projects, but you’re almost certainly  getting paid for the other jobs you have. But after a long day of work, there’s not  always a lot of gas left in the tank for anything else. So you think, I’ll just do it  tomorrow. And tomorrow becomes next week, and so on. Instead of falling into this  habit, try getting your own work done first thing in the morning. The moment you  wake up, roll over and start! That way, there’s no time to talk yourself out of it or to  get distracted by other things. And then it’s done and not hanging over your head for  the rest of the day. Phew!  

Schedule Your Writing

2. Write it in your calendar! Whether it’s on your phone or an actual calendar/day  planner, write it down along with your list of other things to do that day. And here’s  the most important part - DO NOT SKIP IT! If it’s in the calendar, that means you  have to do it. Treat it like all of your other tasks for that day. After all, it’s just as, if not  more, important than your day job.  

Strive For Consistency in Your Writing Schedule

3. Consistency! Trying to tackle a million tasks or write 1000 pages a day can cause  you to put even more pressure on yourself, which can then lead to procrastination.  So instead of worrying about how much you’re getting done, worry about doing it  every day. Make it a habit, a part of your daily routine. Set aside 15, 30, 60 minutes  every day at the same time and write (or paint or whatever your craft is). 

Get Accountability Help

4. Ask for reinforcements! Not so good at holding yourself accountable? Join the club.  Literally. Look for people who are in a similar line of work- other writers, artists,  creatives, and either join or start an accountability club. Join a writer’s group that will  MAKE you write each week. Start taking an acting or painting class. Or, it could also  be as simple as making a deal with a friend to hold each other accountable. “I’ll send  you a text every day if you send me one”. That way, it’s not just you trying to hold  yourself accountable, but another person is also invested in your accountability. 

Plus, surrounding yourself with a community of people working toward the same  goals can also be a helpful motivator.  

Presents and Bribes Work

5. Bribe yourself! In this case, it’s perfectly okay to promise yourself a reward for getting  your work done. Go to a coffee shop and get yourself a caffeinated treat in order to get  yourself going or allow yourself to binge that true crime docuseries tonight as long as  you finish the next chapter of the novel you’re working on. Celebrating small wins is just  as important as the big ones and can really help boost your motivation. You finally got  that second draft done? Excellent! Treat yourself to a date night to celebrate! You’ve  earned it. 

Do you need an accountability partner and some help along the way? It's our new service in beta - and we'd love to test it out and help you maintain your writing schedule and meet your goals! Reach out!

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