Green Typewriter on Brown Wooden Table

Chapter 2 – Accountability

88% of New Year’s resolutions fail within the first 2 weeks. 88% frickin’ percent!

Think about that. Most of us can’t even stick with a goal past two airings of The Bachelor. 

I count myself among the majority. I once set a goal to drink a cup of tea each day, and it lasted one day. 

Most of us start out with lofty ambitions, thinking of our frolicking future selves, and go hard in the beginning. 

The flame burns bright for the first few days, then starts to flicker. Rather than trying to stoke the flame, we let it burn out. 

The flame may die from not having the proper support to keep us going, or taking the wrong approach to our goals, or simply getting burnt out. 

As a writer, it’s no different. The number of times I’ve stared at a blank page, unsure what to write, used to be a recipe for disaster. Rather than push through, I would close my computer, promising to return to it the next day. One day would turn into two, and then a week would pass.

But something shifted this year: A simple change that turned writing into a daily habit. 

I’ve devised ways to hold myself accountable. 


I envy those with the internal drive to achieve whatever task they set their mind to. To not fall victim to the shiny object syndrome. Because I love me some shiny objects! From social media to sneaking in a quick chapter of a book to completing that chore that has been niggling at the back of my mind, I have a tendency to distract myself if things aren’t easily flowing.

I am grateful for my ability to recognize this about myself so I can arm myself and take action against it. 


Whatever my goal is, I need people involved. This is why I thrive in group fitness settings, prefer taking in-person classes, and share my goals with my friends.

Working with editors and having regular sessions with my critique group keeps me on track in my writing journey.

I have been with my writing critique group for over a year. We met while taking a weekly course on chapter books. While this class wasn’t in person, it was live over Zoom, which helped us get to know each other over the course of a few months. Once the class ended, we formed a group and have been meeting monthly ever since. 

We have shared our author ambitions with each other, gotten to know each other’s projects, and are rooting for their success. Each month, we give feedback on our stories and offer encouragement as we seek agents, test new ideas, and experience life. 

Knowing that I have people who are genuinely invested in my success helps me push through those days when I feel as though I have nothing to give to my story. 

I don’t want to let these women down. 

One of the members of our group is close to landing their manuscript with a traditional publisher, and I can’t wait to be one of the first in line to buy her book. Knowing that support is reciprocal drives me.


In graduate school, I had at least a ten-page paper due each week while working full-time for two straight years. 

I thrived in that type of environment. I knew what was expected of me and when it was expected. I rose to the challenge. 

I graduated in June of 2013 and got married in October. After graduation, I decided to take a break from writing and focus instead on the final preparations for my wedding. I told myself once we got back from our honeymoon, I would refocus my efforts on writing. 

But without the built-in deadlines, I found myself trying to fit writing around everything else in my life rather than making it a priority. Let’s just say I didn’t get much done during that time. 

As I dove into freelance writing, I found myself thriving in a deadline-driven world. When an editor sends me a deadline, I always complete the piece on time, with most times it being completed earlier than requested. 

Knowing I need to see due dates visually, I have since created internal deadlines, which I input into my Google calendar. I have found that self-imposed deadlines work just as well as outside deadlines. 

Something about seeing in writing the expectations I have set for myself motivates me to get the job done.

Talking About Goals

We all know someone who always talks about what they are going to do, their dreams, or their adventures, but they never actually take action. That’s the person I fear to be. 

While there are opposing studies on whether or not stating our goals to others is beneficial, it works for me. When I share my goals with my spouse, friends, or even co-workers, I know I need to hold myself accountable for what I say. 

Heck, some of my bylines include that I am writing a children’s book. Just putting it out into the universe helps fuel me to see through my commitments to myself and others. 

Knowing that others may follow up and ask about my progress keeps me honest about my goals and what is in my control.

I can control whether or not I write a book.

I can control how many query letters I send once I complete my manuscript.

I can pursue self-publishing if the traditional publishing route does not work out.

I only discuss goals I have control over, leaving it to me to step up to the plate and achieve them.

Now I’ve gotta scoot. I’ve got a writing group to get to!

Similar Posts