One of the most helpful things I’ve done in the past to keep me on track is to have an “accountability buddy.” A friend and I agreed to get in touch with each other twice a week to keep us motivated and honest about our writing progress.

Here are some things to consider if you want to try this.

  1. Choose one or more check-in days. We chose Mondays and Fridays–Monday we would email each other with our writing goals for the week and on Friday we emailed with our progress.
  2. Choose your goal(s). This can be a word count, a certain number of pages, scenes or chapters. Whatever you think you can realistically accomplish in a week. It’s important to set realistic goals so that you can meet them or come close This should be a positive experience so you may want to aim for modest goals to begin so that you can ensure success. Look at your schedule for the week and make sure you can carve out the time to meet your goals and don’t beat yourself up if life throws a curve ball. But also don’t find excuses not to write!
  3. Adjust your goals as necessary. After the first week or two, assess your progress and decide if the goals you set were realistic and if you need to make any adjustments. If you did well, you could consider increasing your goals.
  4. Decide what type of encouragement/nudging you want from your buddy. Will s/he cheer you on and push you to do more? Chide you gently if you don’t meet your goal(s)? Provide suggestions for meeting your goals more effectively next time? Make sure you know what you want from your buddy and let him or her know.