Wednesday, June 22, 2011

No Excuses!

So I said my next post would be about critiques, and that one's coming, but today I have another topic on my mind: accountability. Recently I joined a local writers' group, and it's helped me in more ways than I can name. But one of the main ways is accountability.

I have people who care whether I do or don't write. People who want me to meet my goals and do well and stay motivated. Who want me to finish writing that section or revising that chapter or outlining that new idea. Who make me feel guilty when I don't.

And we all know guilt is a huge motivator.

At the group's latest meeting, we voted to implement a 30-day writing boot camp, a 50-word-a-day challenge for us each to strive for before we meet up again next month. I know, I know, you're thinking, "50 words? That's nothing." Yeah. Right. I've yet to meet that 50-word goal since the challenge began five days ago. And the guilt is positively EATING at me.

Our group has an online forum, a message board, and I've been watching other writers' word counts roll in daily. 771 words. 553 words. 210 words. I've been too ashamed to respond. Too ashamed to make the piddly excuses that have been rolling around in my head.... "But this is my busy week. I'm working 8-5 every day and still churning out freelance stories after-hours."

Blah, blah, blah. Excuses, excuses. I wrote most of my first draft in the post-bedtime hours while working full-time, and I could - and should - be doing the same thing now. I could - and should - have a draft ready for critique.

I could - and should - be writing 50 words a day on my WIP every day for the next 25 days. And I could - and will - use the guilt of this challenge to help me do better. Because I hate feeling guilty. I hate it, and yet I feel it a LOT.

Which just means I need to Stop Making Excuses and Write.


  1. Hello Stacy,

    I just found your blog while searching the web,
    and noticed that you seem to feel obligated to frequently write new blogposts.

    'I have found a solution for not having
    to feel to much obligated, by calling my posts
    - Exclusive - :)'

    I usually only blog when I really feel Inspired to write, and when I really think I have something that I feel motivated enough to write about. Mainly only write when I also really enjoy writing it. At first I wasn't alway's that motivated to constantly write new posts, also because I didn't seem to get any Readers Feedback yet, and recently I actually begin to see some readers writing Comments on my blogposts, that way making it like an - Ongoing Conversation - that constantly helps to get Inspiration for fresh new posts.

    You are welcome to have a look at my writing blog and feel free to write comments on blogposts.

  2. Hi HP,
    Wow, this is the first time I've visited my own blog in months ... so, so sad. Thanks for your comments. I love blogging - and I love interacting with readers. The reason I've been missing for so long is, in a word, work. It's been a crazy year and my non-fiction writing career has taken off in ways I did NOT expect when I started writing full-time. A few things slipped through the cracks when I got busy with work (my blog, novel revisions, clean clothes, meals that require effort....). I'm working on three and four and have made particular progress lately with two. Now I just need to get back to one -- because I miss it!

    Please stop back and visit me again ... and hopefully you'll find some new content. Happy writing!