The Kind of Friend Every Writer Needs
I can remember my many attempts at writing my first book. I’d come home from teaching high schoolers the language of love and sit in front of my computer screen, waiting for my thoughts to turn into coherent paragraphs. I managed to get a few typed pages at times but ultimately, I’d abandon the project every time. I’m convinced the reason it was so easy to quit writing each time is that I lacked accountability.
Proverbs 27:17 tells us “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (HCSB).
Just as we have a boss to keep us accountable at work, we writers need a friend (or two!) to help us stay accountable. Having someone in our corner who knows our goals makes it more difficult to throw in the towel. Whenever we’re tempted to give into the negative chatter, our accountability partner is there to pull us back to reality.
Characteristics of Good Accountability Partners
If you’ve got a book project in mind for this year, it’s time to start looking for an accountability partner or group to make sure you stay on top of your writing goals. As you’re searching, there are six characteristics you should look for in your accountability partners.
Honest - Your accountability partners shouldn’t be afraid to be honest with you. When it comes to discussing your goals and your progress, you don’t need people who are going to sugarcoat the truth. You need people who’ll tell you the truth in love and will call out your excuses for what they really are.
Encouraging - Life isn’t all sunshine and roses. If we’re truly honest, we’ve all had those moments where life smacked us unexpectedly. Your accountability partners will know how to challenge you when needed, but also provide encouragement to help you push through. They’ll know how to encourage you when all is well and you’re on target. Encouraging others is natural to them and is a pleasure for them to do for you.
Challenging- We all have a million reasons why it’s difficult to stick to our plans and reach our goals. You may be working full-time, in college, raising children as a single mother, and saving the world one word at a time. Free time is in low supply. You may not even know the answers to all your questions. Guess what? Your accountability partners are going to challenge you despite all that’s going on. They’re going to make you stretch in places you never thought possible. But when it’s all said and done, you’ll be grateful.
Is positive - Have you ever been around a Debbie Downer? That kind of person just knows how to drain your spirit, don’t they? When you’re looking for accountability partners, you want to make sure they’re positive. No matter what negative statement you may throw at them, they’ve always got something positive to serve right back at you. Before you know it, that positivity starts to rub off on you and remind you of all the reasons you can and will finish your masterpiece.
Trustworthy - You want accountability partners who know how to maintain confidentiality at all times. If you wanted all your business on the street, you could tell it yourself. That’s why your confidants must know that relationships are built on trust. We all know that one person who is the King or Queen of Gossip. It’s difficult to trust someone like that. Be sure your accountability partners are trustworthy.
Committed to your success - I believe this is probably the most important characteristic to look for in an accountability partner. Someone who is committed to your success will do all she can to help you reach your writing goals (besides doing the work for you). This person will give you the encouragement you need and challenge you to reach your full potential. Her positive nature will constantly serve as a reminder that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength (Philippians 4:13). She won’t be afraid to tell you like it is, and you’ll be able to trust that her efforts are truly for your well-being.
Where can you find an accountability partner?
Finding an accountability partner can be tough for various reasons. Maybe you don’t know someone who can help you. Maybe you’re not able to pay someone at this time to be your accountability coach.
Instead of dismissing the thought and continuing to go on this journey alone, you could think outside the box. I’ve been chatting with some writer friends who are looking for a little extra accountability this year, and I’ve got something that may help you meet your writing goals: The Writers’ Lounge Monthly Meetup. This virtual accountability group will meet for an hour and a half every second Saturday of 2018.
During our time, you’ll get to:
-Share your wins from the previous month
-Share what you learned from your shortcomings
-Share your main writing goal for the month
-Read a portion of your latest WIP (work in progress)
-Bounce ideas off other writers
If you’re ready to reach your writing goals for 2018, join a group of writers committed to doing the same. Sometimes all you need is a safe space to bounce ideas off of people who get you. That’s what we’re here for. We’re committed to helping you win and like Alicia Keys, we won’t tell your secrets.
To be notified of all details regarding when and where we’re meeting, sign up for reminders below. You won’t receive any emails outside of our Monthly Meetup. So no worries about being spammed or about receiving millions of emails that clutter your inbox.
I can’t wait for us to make some serious waves this year, writer friend!