As is writing. I’m trying not to be too depressed by my lack of writing for the last fourteen days. Sometimes, life does intervene. A move and illness count, I think, as valid excuses. But my calendar showing all those blanks really motivated me to get the lead out today and write!
What I’m talking about is a little calendar/journal app I have. Every day when I write or do writing-related work, I log it in the app. It automatically dates it, and there’s an overview mode, showing all the dates with the first line or two of typed info. Clicking there shows a quick overview of what I have or haven’t been doing. Instant accountability!
When I’m working well, those little dates fill up so quickly, making me swell with the pride of accomplishment. What a wonderful feeling! Look at all I’ve done. I’m really getting it done, aren’t I? And getting writing done is the only way to improve.
But, when I’ve slacked off too much the lack of dates, or the huge gaps between them, haunt me. When the wind whistles through the calendar’s holes, I feel guilty for not doing, for not writing. I get antsy, wanting to fill those dates once again.
Kind of like crossing things off a to-do list makes me feel productive, this little device makes writing its own reward. There is no denying the concrete evidence of my writing, or my lack of writing, with this tool. “See,” I can say, “look at all that I’ve accomplished! Two stories started, two more edited! And a blog post! And yes, a search on Duotrope for that next submission.” For me, this is far more satisfying than crossing off ‘Writing’ on the chores to-do list. (And anyway, who wants to list writing with chores?)
So how do you stay accountable to your writing, and to your writer-self? Rewards? Punishments? What works for you? Leave a comment and let me know.