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Be Accountable: A Key to Writing Consistently

Your Book Writing Coach
Your Book Writing Coach

What to do when your writing loses momentum? Trap yourself.

If you’re not accountable to anyone to get your writing done, it’s easy to get off track. Often, all it takes is being accountable to someone to get back in the game and write again.

Teaching a class has been great for me. Every week my book-writing students make their commitments for the week. I’ve begun to share my commitments as well and, as a result, I’ve transcribed several chapters from notebook to computer, written one new chapter, and edited several chapters. Woo-hee!

How do you identify an easy way to be accountable? Here are 5 different ways:

1. Get yourself a writing buddy. Call or e-mail each other with your commitments. Follow up regularly to affirm that you’ve done what you said you’d do.

2. Join a writing class. A writing class automatically makes you accountable. And since you’ve put some money on the line, that can motivate you, since you don’t want to waste your investment.

3. Start a writing circle. Post a sign at your library or on the internet and get a group together to provide feedback and support. This is a great option if you can’t afford a writing course or writing coach.

4. Hire a writing coach. A writing coach can help you stay accountable and also help you improve your writing, make productive decisions in your writing, and write the best book you can

5. Commit yourself now, today, right here on my writing blog! Just put your commitment in the comments section. On Thursday I’ll blog again and ask for your progress. Check in again Thursday to report. The pressure is on. Let it work for you.

Go ahead, please share what you’re going to accomplish by Thursday. What days are you going to write? What exact times? Share it now as a comment.

Then schedule the writing in your calendar or blackberry! Enjoy the accountability.

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

Reader Interactions


  1. Conner Moore says

    This week I sent out five query letters to agents.Edited two chapters for use in proposal. A life lesson. Was caddying for my son Michael in qualifying round for Maine Amateur. He was playing almost par until he took a nine on the 14th hole amongst the marsh and frogs. He was heartbroken. “Michael Forget the last hole. Get a few pars on the next four. You can do it”. ” OK, Dad “. He stepped up and made a hole in one on the 15th and made the cut. I will remember this as my book rejections accumulate.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Yes, Maryam, you can tape your story and have someone transcribe, but know that it will need editing to make it compelling and polished. Spoken word comes out differently from the written word.

      You can certainly self publish your book, if that is what you’re asking.

  2. Deborah kasman says

    I am committed to writing my intro by dec 1st. Over the past year I have written the intro 9 times. I will read all, hear my voice and choose which one really sets the tone for my mission of the book (or what parts of several of these 9 starts) I suspect other info in these 9 starts will meld into other chapters

    • Lisa Tener says

      Excellent, Deborah. It’s not uncommon to struggle with the intro. Sometimes it’s easiest to write the intro last. Write the intro from your readers’ perspective. What are they looking for when they crack open the book? What do they need? What can you offer them as a result of reading the book?

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