Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Accountability


I've mentioned my accountability group in the past. Today I'm going to talk more in depth about them. Why? Because we're looking to add a few people to our ranks.

A similar group had one opening in December. At the time, it was exactly what I needed to get my butt back in gear. I'd stopped writing. From August to December, I didn't write a word. So, I applied. Yes, there was an application to make sure they found the right fit.

Apparently there were several of us that the group thought would work well with them. Not sure how they made their ultimate decision, but I wasn't the one chosen. Then, one of the women that founded that group offered to spend 6 weeks helping those of us who didn't make it, form our own group if we wanted.

That's what we did. We've been working hard since January to form a group that is supportive yet firm in keeping us on track with our goals. There are 3 of us now and we're looking to add 3 more. Let me tell you a bit about how we work.

We started out making long term goals (LTGs). These are the goals we want to accomplish in the year. Based on these LTGs, we make weekly and daily goals. We post our goals to a private blog. We support and nudge each other on this blog. We also meet once a week for chat to discuss anything that we feel is important. We also got to know each other during this time and I feel as though I have two new friends.

Our goals aren't just about writing. We have writing life (WL) goals, which pertain to other parts of being a writer outside the actual writing. That may include getting a website set up, or taking a class, or reading a craft book. We also have real life (RL) goals. These are goals outside of writing all together that we want to accomplish. It's a plan to help provide balance in our life.

We commit to writing 6 days a week, a minimum of 20 minutes a day. Also, those same 6 days, we commit to some WL goals. Our real life goals are 5 days a week. It's a lot of work, a big commitment. I don't want to scare anyone, but it's important to know that this is a serious group. We're asking for a commitment to the end of the year.

Now that I've told you a bit about the group itself, let me tell you what it's done for me. In the last 5 months, I have edited my first release and got it ready. I wrote a novella, submitted it, received a contract on it, completed the edits and waiting for its release. I finished the first draft of a full-length novel that I was about 50% done. I'm almost halfway through the second pass on it and getting close to starting the editing process. In total, I've written over 75k since January. I've gotten one of my websites redesigned and one of my blogs up and running. I've researched and got a list of agents to query as soon as my novel is ready. I'm completing my goals of taking a class every month and reading a craft book every month. My RL are ongoing, but most weeks, I meet those too. Oh, and did I mention I've made two new, great friends.

I think you'll agree that I've accomplished a lot in 5 months. I owe the continued forward movement to my accountability group. There have been days that I just didn't want to do what I needed to do. The thought of not getting a smiley for that day or having to tell my group that I was lazy was great incentive to keep my nose to the grindstone.

So, if anything sounds like what you need and want right now, I'd love to hear from you. Please email me at riley@riley-quinn.com.

6 comments:

Joyce Moore said...

Riley: This sounds like a great idea. Right now I'm swamped and wouldn't dare take on anything else. I have workshops etc. coming up and taking classes, but it was really interesting reading about this. My best to all of you. Please keep us posted on how this works out for the members, and good luck.

Ali said...

I love this idea :)

Rachel Lynne said...

Awesome idea! I know being accountable to turn in chapters to you every week helped me complete Ring of Lies! I'm not writing much now so I could probably use this :)

Mary Ricksen said...

You'd all be after me for not writing or doing things! I wish I was more organized, but hey, that's me.

Carly Carson said...

Hey I'm in Riley's group and it has worked wonders for me as well. It's not just the positive reinforcement of meeting your goals that counts. It's also the structure of setting up what you're going to do each week.

And the 2 new friends are a big bonus!!

Alice Audrey said...

I'm not sure if I can handle adding anything to what I already do, but I'm interested.

Post a Comment