I joined a Facebook accountability group about 3 years ago, called “My 500 Words”. Through this group, I have made many friends and writing partners. The benefits have been immeasurable. So, my writing tip for today is to join an accountability group.
Why? It is easy to justify not joining. At first, I told myself that I was too busy to commit or that I didn’t need accountability. However, the absolute truth is, we all do better when we have committed to an external goal. I mean, that is what accountability is all about. I am, at my core, lazy. I love to lounge and watch movies. Still, my desire to accomplish my goals outweighs my laziness.
So, here I am writing 500 words a day for complete strangers. Another objection that I had (and still do) is what about ideas? Inspiration? You can’t force the muse. Right? Or can you?
The truth is that I don’t think you can force your muse, but you can encourage it. Having a daily word goal puts you in front of your computer (or wherever you choose to write) and at least have a meeting with your muse. Something good may come of it. Certainly, if your words just stay swimming around in your head, they will never become a poem, short story, novel, or blog post.
So, good habits make good writers. I am not the first person to say this, but it is a good rule to follow. Make good habits.
What if I don’t write anything that I can use? I usually write much that I can’t use, but the writing itself is a great activity. It engages my brain. Writing sifts through the ideas that are good and those that are not. I love to edit, so it is a benefit for me to write daily. Writing daily gives me something to edit.
I know some writers who say that they must get out the bad words before the good words can surface. I don’t know if this is always true for me, but it is at some time. There times that I write a poem that I have been thinking about for days, even weeks, and it just comes out. But, that is rare. Most times, I sit down to write something and nothing but gibberish comes out. When I sit down to edit, I can make something beautiful from the gibberish.
So, join a group to establish good habits. As I was driving home from dropping my husband at the train this morning, I thought if I didn’t have the commitment to my group, I would have gone back to bed and watched TV all morning. As lovely as that sounds, I get much more satisfaction from writing.
Writing is my lifeblood. Writers write and all that jazz. I feel best when I am creatively producing something of worth, something beautiful.
Not to mention, I have made some of the most wonderful, like-minded friends in this group. Some of these friends I have met face to face, but most, I have not. They are highly valued, however, and I would not have met them if I had gone back to bed to watch TV.