I started giving myself arbitrary deadlines. I would even research deadline schedules of places where I wanted to submit my work and use that as my deadline. This helped... a little. But it didn't quite do the trick. If I was coming up to a self-imposed deadline and I wasn't done or didn't FEEL like working on the piece, I would simply move the deadline. After all, it was just me, right?
But that was the problem. By themselves, the deadlines were too malleable.
So I looked at the other factor that played into me getting collaborative projects or school work done. ACCOUNTABILITY... A small part of me crossed her arms, pushed out her bottom lip and stomped her wee foot. (It was a little part of me.) She screeched about how NOBODY should have to check in on her 'cause she's an adult, dammit! (Funny how the side of me that claims adulthood with such defiance, is the very side that throws a childish temper tantrum.) A quieter voice asked, but who would want the burden of being accountable for our deadlines? This was a conundrum...
I had / have no desire to be a burden on anyone. But then I thought about the ways I could spread the accountability. It isn't about someone hounding me, but about me believing that my failing to finish affects more than myself.
Here are the places where I am accountable along with a few that I'd like to use:
- A Writers Group would be good, but I'm between groups right now. (I have an open invitation to a newish one, but it meets at a really bad time for me.) I LOVED when I was part of the Chicago Writers' Coven!!! Perhaps I'll gather a faction of that and get it started again.
- Open Mics kick my booty into getting things to a sharable place! I attend two pretty regularly:
- Then there's Facebook... I've found that it helps if I post my writing plans. I've been advised that a Twitter account can have a similar effect. (I'm holding off on getting one of those for when I'm less dependent on the hours of the Libraries and the availability of their computers.) When I post about my plans, I get lots of encouragement and friends who are eager to see how my writing is going.
- This blog is to be another accountability tool. In my sidebar, I've listed the writing I'm currently working on and what my deadline is. I plan to keep this list current and to add where I'm submitting as well.
- The final accountability for me is teaching. I've just recently started doing workshops again and I get so much out of them! I'm going to work on doing more.