Does anyone hold you accountable to write? Do you meet with someone weekly or monthly with the expectation of sharing a new piece of writing?
I’ve been in and out of different writing accountability arrangements since I started writing in 2008. Most of the time I’m not participating in any sort of program. I am in a writers group, but our group meetings are loosely organized. The group seems to function well as a group of mutually encouraging friends, rather than as a critique or accountability group.
However, until the end of the year (and perhaps longer) I agreed to help a friend stay on top of his writing with the following arrangement:
-During the week we each keep a record of what we’ve written (no matter how small) and other writing-related things (like making submissions, or updating our blogs).
– On Friday nights we email each other our lists.
That’s it. It’s nice and simple. So far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how this quiet little agreement has inspired me to write more. I’ve been in a season of good production lately. Now that someone is expecting to see a record of my writing each week I anticipate getting even more good work done (at least that’s the hope).
The journal pictured here is what I’m keeping my record in. Cool, eh?
Today I found an old Moleskine journal. It’s one of the little brown ones, with the cardboard cover. I used to buy these because they were easy to carry in your pocket; the covers are soft and bend with your leg. I liked to have one nearby so I could jot down ideas and funny or interesting things I encountered during the day.
Based on the notes inside, the journal I found was one I carried in 2010 or 2011. Among other things, the contents included the outline for a story about a superhero’s sidekick, a Robin-like character who has to deal with the reality of going to college classes while fighting crime late into the night. At the time, I had thoughts about writing a series of stories based on the superhero sidekick trope.
The outline is terrible (which may explain why I never tried to flesh out the story) but I’m glad I still have it. When I read through it I could still visualize the story completely, even though I’ve not thought about this character for a few years. I still don’t feel like I can write this story well enough to bother with it yet, but the images are there, still bopping around my imagination.
I’ve heard other writers warn (sometimes emphatically), “Don’t throw anything away! Keep everything you ever write. You never know when you’ll need it.”
I admit, I’ve ignored this advice. So much of what I write is junk. It either gets crumpled and tossed, or digitally deleted. But today at least, I was glad I still had this crummy outline. It brought my sidekick character to mind. Maybe I’ll write something about him after all . . .
Have you ever found an old journal, or old notes? What did you find?
Do you save everything you write? Or do you throw stuff away?
I haven’t blogged in a few weeks. That’s not how I like it, but it’s been a busy few weeks! Here’s my writing update and a general update on other goings on that have kept me from the blog:
- I’ve continued to work on the goblin project. I’ve not finished as much as I’ve liked, probably 500 to 800 words since my last update, but a little is better than nothing, right? ;-) I don’t know the exact word count as I’ve been writing it in a spiral bound notebook.
- I’ve been writing in my journal more frequently. Like most people my journal writing comes and goes in waves. I’m in a wave of journal writing right now. I’ve just got a lot to say to myself, I guess. ;-) Seriously, I’ve found that writing in my journal does two great things for me: 1) it helps me process what I experience in a more complete way; 2) it provides creative kindling for later writing. Give it a try some time. Journal for a few months, then, go back and read what you wrote on a day when you feel like you’ve got nothing to write. Your journal entries will spur on new ideas.
- We just held the Breathe Christian Writers Conference. I’m a part of the Breathe Planning Committee. It’s an annual Christian Writers Conference held in west Michigan. I’ll be blogging more about it here in the coming weeks. I also wrote this post a few months back. This year I served as an MC and helped do some of the online marketing. It was fun, it was tiring, it was something I hope to do again. More to come on that…
- I’ve been blogging frequently on the Breathe Christian Writers Conference Blog. Part of my role on the committee is to help maintain this blog. It’s been a lot of fun.
- I’ve been blogging everyday for Zondervan on the Engaging Church Blog. Maintaining this blog is part of my role at work. If you are involved in church ministry – as a volunteer, or as paid staff – this blog is for you.
- I attended the Catalyst Conference for Zondervan. You can see my IPhone Pics Report here.
Have you been writing? What’s your update?