How to Hold Yourself Accountable as An Author
If you want a full-time author career, you have to hold yourself accountable to your writing goals.
If you publish traditionally, you will have an editor who will give you milestones you need to meet. When you’re a self-published author, you need to set your own milestones.
Now it’s usually easier to meet deadlines set by someone else. Especially, when they’re paying you. But as a self-published author, your income depends on how many books you write and have to sell. In the indie author world publishing a lot of books is key to making a living as an author.
But holding yourself accountable, regardless of the stakes, isn’t always that easy. I know it’s not for me.
However, when your livelihood depends on it, then you must hold yourself accountable to your writing and publishing goals. Even when you’re not motivated to do so.
What are some ways you can do that?
Set goals. If you follow my blog at all, you know that I’m a huge believer in goal setting. Small goals, big goals, hourly, daily, yearly goals. You name it I’ve got a goal for it. But without goals you don’t know what you’re supposed to accomplish and what you don’t know won’t happen.
Make sure you have a WHY for all your goals. Don’t set a goal without a purpose or you won’t have any reason to work towards said goal. When you have a strong reason, it will get you through the times you don’t want to work toward your goal.
Make sure the goals you want to be accountable to are actionable and aren’t vague or abstract. Instead of saying, “I want to write this week say I will write 500 words every day this week.” Set yourself up for success by making your goal tangible and concrete.
Be vocal about what you want to accomplish. Don’t keep your goals a secret. When you tell others you open yourself up to them asking about your progress. You don’t want someone to ask you how you’re doing and not have good news to share. So you’ll put a little more pressure on yourself to stay accountable to what you want to do.
Go one step further and find someone who also needs help to stay accountable. Work together motivating each other and giving friendly little pushes when necessary.
Join a Facebook group of like minded individuals (you can join mine here). Share your goals with people who understand how hard it can be and have some of the same frustrations. It can be so motivating to engage with a group of people who get what you’re going through.
Write your list of tasks down. Don’t keep a running list in your head. Write your to dos down or use a task management software like Trello. Not only will this help keep you organized but it will also help to make sure you don’t forget something.
Focus on one thing at a time. Most of us today think we are amazing multitaskers. But the truth is we are much less efficient when trying to do several things at once. It’s better to tackle one thing at a time, give it your undivided attention, and then go on to the next task.
Reward yourself. We all motivate ourselves in different ways, but I’m a big believer in rewards. I’m not talking letting yourself eat an entire cheesecake or go on a 12 hour Netflix binge. But small things that can motivate you to push through a small task.
Most importantly realize you won’t be perfect every day, and it’s ok. Self-care is important and telling yourself to take a break if you feel you need one is a good thing. Don’t look at it as lost productivity but rather giving your mind and body the rest it needs to be awesome the next day.