Christina Katz, at The Prosperous Writer, sends out a weekly e-zine in which she writes about the 52 Qualities of Prosperous Writers. This week’s topic is Accountability.
I don’t have an agent. No publisher is knocking at my door begging me to sign a contract for a book not yet complete (does that even happen in real life?). I don’t get paid to write –yet. So, what makes me accountable?
Why keep writing?
I spent years dreaming, thinking, saying out loud, “Some day I want to be a writer.” My mother believed in me. Not concerned if I could tackle story structure and character development, or if I could decipher theme and irony, she asked me to pen a story about her. If she were still living today, and reading this blog, she’d make me accountable. It’s hard to say no to your mother.
The day I signed up for my first writing class – no, strike that – the day I sent my first nonfiction piece to a legitimate literary magazine, I named myself a writer. Since then, I’ve had visions of quick success, flashes of failures, and heavy doses of reality. I wondered if I would ever be a serious writer. But, not once did I consider returning to the days of not writing.
Accountability keeps me engaged in what I love.
This blog makes me accountable. Every Wednesday, I write on the Word of the Day. No one pays me, and I happened to choose a day of the week when my time is always scrunched. Still, I post a flash fiction, a short essay, something.
Writing salons keep me accountable, and connected. If I’m too quiet in a group, someone sends an email, because – as writers – we know that silence can be a deadly.
And, oddly enough, Twitter makes me accountable. When I tweet that I #amwriting, I commit myself. I doubt all 109 of my followers are waiting, with bated breath, to read the end result of whatever it is I am #writing. But I’m a people-pleaser, and I can’t bear to think I might leave even one follower hanging.
Christina Katz is right when she says:
You understand that your success is contingent upon this ability to be dedicated to your work and you don’t shirk your deadlines or commitments or take them for granted.
What makes you accountable?