Over the past couple of days I’ve been going over the top 5 Hidden Blocks to writing and/or finishing your novel (or short story, screenplay, etc.). Today, we move on to #3…and it’s a doozy.
Hidden Block #3 is: you don’t have any accountability and/or you don’t think you need any accountability.
This is probably the most frequent block I see writers experiencing who don’t ever start or finish anything. And I used to suffer from it too.
Accountability, while annoying at times, is one of the best ways to ensure you actually get your writing done. Sadly, most writers aren’t very good at self-set deadlines or holding themselves to doing what they said they would, and so accountability is necessary for their success.
Problem is, most writers don’t have any accountability.
Either they think they don’t need it or they don’t have anyone they trust to hold them accountable. Both scenarios are a block to writing and/or finishing.
When I was attempting to write my first novel in 2008, I had a serious momentum of failure going. I had never successfully been able to finish any writing project I’d started or hold myself to the things I said I was going to do (aka: write my novel).
What changed everything for me back then was two things:
1. I Started My Blog (Then Called Procrastinating Writers)
Writing one blog post a week, sharing an update on my journey to writing my novel and what I was learning about writing along the way was one of the best ways to keep myself accountable.
But that still wasn’t enough, because I was a major procrastinator at the time.
2. I Hired A Writing Coach
Hiring a writing coach was so far outside my comfort zone. And before that moment, I had never invested money in my fiction writing before (aside from buying books or taking fiction writing classes).
But I knew I couldn’t do it alone. If I wanted to hit my deadline and get the first draft of my novel written, I had to do something I’d never done before.
Hiring this coach changed everything. It gave me someone to hold me accountable each week as I made my way through the first draft of my novel.
And two weeks before my self-set deadline, I finished my first draft.
Do you suffer from Hidden Block #3? Here’s how it shows up in your life:
- Procrastination (obviously!)
- Not doing what you said you would
- Constantly letting yourself down
- Not feeling proud of yourself in the area of your writing
- Nothing to show for all of your years as a writer
- You don’t meet your self-set deadlines (or take them seriously)
Not having accountability is a serious block.
Every writer needs accountability. Even professional authors have accountability in the form of agents and deadlines set by publishers.
Accountability holds you to doing what you said you would. Period.
So, how do you fix this block?
- Get some damn accountability (it’s time!)
- Find someone/something you actually trust to hold your feet to the fire
It’s pretty simple. Get some accountability, get more writing done. Period.
Accountability comes in all forms: writers groups, another writer-friend you trust, a writing coach, a writing teacher, or even being part of a mastermind group where accountability is a major focus.
If you’re looking for accountability in your writing life, you need to check out The Storytelling Mastermind. We have accountability built right into our day five days a week with our “virtual work sessions” where we show up, share what we’re working on/wanting to get done, and then update each other on whether or not we actually did it.
Since starting this group I’ve been the most consistent I’ve ever been in my writing life. I not only run the group, but I’m also a member and I participate in the daily work sessions along with everyone else.
Tomorrow we unravel Hidden Block #4. See you then 🙂
Dream life or bust,
P.S. When you join the Storytelling Mastermind and choose the annual membership option before April 30 at 11:59 p.m. EDT you get a super-special Bonus: a FREE Developmental Edit on your manuscript (up to 85k words; a $1,600 value) by yours truly.
I am known for cutting right to the core of your story and articulating exactly what’s not working, why it’s not working and how you can fix it. This kind of feedback on your story is invaluable and you get it for FREE when you join the Storytelling Mastermind as an annual member (and you have one year from sign up to use the service, how awesome is that??)