Today’s subject is the importance of accountability when committing to any long-term goal. Such as writing a novel. You need to have hit times, Army slang for deadlines. Without clear and hard guidelines you will go astray. I’ve re-learned this recently. Very recently.
You see, I’ve been a tad adrift as of late. So many distractions and bad stuff going on. It’s been very difficult to concentrate. To see the mission clearly. To write.
Had a conversation with a friend and mentor, we both needed a hand. He suggested setting aside a block of time in our mutual time zones where we could meet briefly and get work done. A two hour block, where we would do nothing but writer stuff. Period. We agreed to meet Sunday my time through Thursday, 1900-2100 local.
We planned a brief check in, then an immediate progression to work. This Thursday past was our first work session, and I’d like to report success.
It went mostly as planned for both of us. He had a medical commitment, so he rang me up while driving and we talked things over. When we hung up, I reviewed my past work, and then I started to type. On his end, he did his appointment, returned home, and produced.
Friends, I kicked out 1200 words in just under two hours. This, after months of very slow activity. It really helped to have a clear, unambiguous block of time reserved to write, as well as a reporting obligation to my friend and partner. As I should have known from my Army years, the buddy system works for a reason.
Basically, we pushed each other. He got stuff done, and so did I. For the first time in months, really. We plan to continue this approach for the time being, until the both of us climb out of the hole.
In short, if you are struggling to meet some goal, it really does help to have a partner who will hold your feet to the fire.
This can be unpleasant, but so is missing a deadline.