February 26

Two things that will make or break you: writing deadlines and accountability

    Two things that will
    If I could sum up my advice to writers, I would say that two things will make or break you as a successful author: writing deadlines and accountability.

    If you are wonderfully gifted with ideas, a passion for research, and a flair for words, you will not necessarily become a successful writer. You may have dreaming sessions, even planning sessions, where you think about a project that would blow everything else out of the water. The project in your head would be nothing like this world has ever seen, and you may know the power that it could have to change your life and other’s lives.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but without hard deadlines and accountability, your brilliant ideas will waste away when you die. Your grandchildren may find your ideas jotted in old notebooks in the attic, and they may say, “Wow, if only my grandfather had taken the time to write and publish these!” But, guess what, you didn’t.

    On the flip side, there are people who have mediocre ideas, are a bit lazy about research, write like a third-grader, and make a ridiculous amount of money on their writing. You know who I’m talking about. Those are the authors you scoff at. You pick up their books and think, “This is crap. I could write so much better than this.” Well, the difference is that he wrote a book, and you didn’t.

    That may have come off as a little more discouraging than I intend.

    What I really want to say is:

    With hard deadlines and accountability, you can write anything.

    Seriously, think about it. If Jane Schmoe can write, publish, and sell medicare mush, then you, with your innovations, passions, and wherewithal, can do amazing things, including publish and become a successful author. All you need are hard deadlines and accountability.

    That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. In fact, the simplest things are often the hardest.

    Losing weight? Easy peasy. Water + veggies + lean protein + sweat-inducing exercise on a regular basis. Doing it? Ridiculously hard.

    Learning a new language? Even toddlers can do it. Listening to others talk + practicing talking on a regular basis. Yet, how many people are trilingual? Not many, especially here in the States.

    Growing a garden? Put seeds in dirt + fertilizer + water on a regular basis. But have you seen my attempts at gardening? Nothing but weeds.

    So, I’m saying it’s simple, not easy.

    We all need some help sometimes. May I suggest a writing coach?

    We all need help achieving our goals. Can you get fit, learn a language, and grow a garden all on your own? Well, sure, of course you can. If you want results faster and better, though, you get help. You hire a trainer, take a language class, and pay a gardener.

    Can you write your article, e-book, or full-length book by yourself? Yes, of course. I can’t make any guarantees about how quickly or smoothly the process will go, but you certainly can.

    I’m not going to beat around the bush – this is where a writing coach comes in. A coach is the person who hears your goals, helps you set a deadline for them, and holds you accountable to the progress you want to make.

    A coach can’t do the writing for you or really even make you write if you don’t want to, but a coach can persistently remind you about the regular deadlines you committed to making and encourage you along the way. If you hire a writing coach who is also an editor (some are not!), that person can also help with developmental and line editing along the way – bonus.

    I’ve created new writing coaching packages with you in mind.

    I’ve been a writing coach for over seven years now. For most of my coaching time, I’ve abided by a flexible, month-to-month model. I would allow people to set their own pace and sort of plod along as they were comfortable.

    This past year, I’ve realized that the month-to-month model makes it too easy for writers (who really do want to finish a project) make excuses for pushing off one more month. I began to feel like I was doing writers a disservice by being so flexible.

    (You know that I taught college-level Sociology, right? Yes, I was that professor who took every excuse in the book – sick grandmother, stomach bug, it was raining last week. I had students who took months to turn in final papers. Some of them never graduated. Guess who ended up losing out because I was such a flexible professor.)

    Now, I want to be the type of writing coach who meets you where you want to be. I know you have high standards for yourself. You want to write a ground-breaking article, a fantastic e-book, a stellar book. You know you have it in you. You just need someone to provide encouragement, hard deadlines, advice along the way, and accountability.

    I’m here for you. If you want to write an article, e-book, or full-length book this year, let’s talk about how we can work together to make it happen.

    Check out my new writing coaching packages.

    What are you writing? Is this the year you’re going to write your book? Leave a comment below, if you’re going to take your writing to the next level this year. I’d love to be inspired by your goals.


    You may also like

    ‘Tis the Season

    ‘Tis the Season

    Which "Publishing Path" is right for your book?

    There are FOUR different publishing paths for the modern author. Ready to discover which one's right for YOUR book?