Alongside my renewed commitment to be a better blogger, I’m still hosting the talented people of Write by the Rails in the Endless Possibilities Blog Tour. Today, I feature the fearless leader of our merry band of writers, Cindy Brookshire. She’s bringing her own daily affirmation and accountability on getting the words down on paper, and meeting that daily word count.
But working on my book? Thatâ€™s another matter. I balk. I make excuses. I wait for the perfect chunk of time. It never comes.
I finally took my friend, North Carolina writerÂ Barbara Presnellâ€™s advice and got a writing accountability partner. Sheâ€™s author and Huffington Post contributorÂ Laura Collins Lyster-Mensch. Laura and I email each other every Monday. Once a month we do a face-to-face at the Red Truck Bakery in Warrenton or Caribou Coffee in Bristow. Talking to an accountability partner is like talking to a 12-step sponsor. You canâ€™t bullshit a bullshitter.
Has it worked? Yes. In all honesty, Iâ€™ve set a kitchen timer and forced myself to do more work on my book than Iâ€™ve done in years. Iâ€™ve also produced some great magazine articles, and helped to build a thriving network of writers in Prince William through the non-profitÂ Write by the Rails.
Laura has been quite effective, too, though under duress – she was able to work with her friend,Â Charlotte Bevan, to complete the book,Â Throwing Starfish, before Charlotteâ€™s death.
Oh well, deadlines and taxes will always be with us.Â Or is it death and taxes?
I think Iâ€™ve earned another episode of House of Cardsâ€¦..
Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, exceptÂ death and taxes.
â€”Benjamin Franklin,Â in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789