Writing a Book? The Biggest FrustrationsMay 6, 2021
6 Ways To Maintain Your Writing MomentumJanuary 11, 2022
I recently lost 15lbs on a healthy eating programme whereby I sent a photograph of everything I ate for 6-weeks to my supportive host. Yve talked me through her 6 for Success Programme, set me up with a gazillion recipes, and sent me on my merry way.
Her daily Whatsapp messages included a cheery ‘good morning’ and an early afternoon check on my water intake, plus advice on the foods I was putting on my plate. Without her support, I would have fallen off the wagon within days of starting.
What’s my weight loss got to do with writing books, I hear you ask? Stay with me.
I’m one of those people who have multiple ideas, twenty projects on the go at once, and still want to add more shiny things to my to-do list. I can overwhelm myself because I’m curious and creative in equal measure.
It’s good to have such an overactive imagination (I am an author, after all). However, it often means I start something only to burn out before I’ve finished.
This happens in every area of my life, not just weight loss.
Can you relate?
How many notebooks have you filled with business ideas, marketing notes, and midnight scribbles of world domination? Yep, me too.
Get yourself a writing buddy
One of the things I love about being an author is meeting other writers who understand how my brain works. They appreciate that when I stare off into space, it’s because I’m developing a plotline or having an internal conversation with a character. My fellow scribes are also there when I need support, advice, or a swift kick up the…
Having a ‘buddy’ who can urge you on or talk you off the ledge when you’re having a 2am outlining crisis is essential. But how do you find a writing buddy if this is your first book?
Writing Groups – finding a group of like-minded people who are interested in writing is a fabulous way to stay focused on your projects. It’s always best to test these groups out, as some do stick to a specific genre. For example, if you’re writing a business book about marketing in the equestrian world, you won’t get what you want or need from a poetry group. It’s also worth checking that the feedback you receive on your work is objective and constructive. I’ve been in groups where the participants are too afraid to say they dislike something and others where the criticism can get too personal. It’s a careful balance that needs nurturing if you’re going to get the most from your writing group. When you find a good one, they’ll become your biggest cheerleaders.
Friends/Family – I add this section with enormous trepidation as our family and friends can be guilty of bending the truth when giving feedback. If you have a friend who will tell you exactly what they think, then see if they’ll support you as you write.
Creative Writing Courses – most courses are for a set length of time or within term time if run through your local college. The tutors offer fabulous feedback as you write, and your classmates can also be a source of inspiration and motivation. Most courses have a fixed theme, such as memoir writing.
Book/Writing Coach – having a dedicated mentor gives you the same one-to-one support I received from Yve, culminating in my weight loss. Working with a mentor means they take every step with you and hold your hand throughout the process.
How accountability helps you write a book
Deadlines are a huge part of any author’s life. We can’t dodge them, so we embrace them as a fixed point when our work needs to be completed. Over the years, I’ve learned to work with my deadlines instead of push against them.
Having a deadline makes you 40% more likely to achieve your goal of writing a book. You may find that statistic encouraging. However, 95% of people successfully meet their goals when they work with an accountability partner.
Writing a book is hard work. Having someone who holds you accountable for your project will allow you to move through your book from idea to publication steadily. They are there to talk about your progress and support your success.
Why work with an accountability partner?
Over the years I’ve always seen new writers express their excitement and drive for the initial book idea, followed by a flurry of writing. Then real life kicks in, and that incredible idea gets pushed to the bottom of the pile.
Working one-to-one with a writing mentor is powerful.
I designed my mentorship to help women write their books in a safe environment.
For £49 a month, you can write your book with the peace of mind that a multi-genre author and writing mentor is holding your hand every step of the way.
What’s included in your monthly commitment?
- A monthly 1:1 accountability call (via Zoom) where we review your progress, set writing goals, and get feedback on your work. You can also ask questions about any aspect of writing.
- A monthly group co-writing session (via Zoom and usually on the second Sunday of the month) where you have three hours of dedicated writing time to work on your book. Think of it as a virtual coffee shop!
- Access to my Start Writing Your Book Facebook Group. A safe space to ask for feedback, get access to me as you write, and a place to support one another.
Are you ready to start your book and stay accountable?
To sign up for the monthly mentorship please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can sort out a suitable time and date to begin your writing journey. Once this is set up, you’ll receive an email with a link to the Facebook group and a list of all the co-writing dates. You don’t have to wait to jump straight in, so please don’t worry if you can’t get your 1:1 booked for a few weeks.
“I feel more confident and organised now, and I know I wouldn’t have got this far without joining [Shelley].” Liz Stanford – The Calm Birth School