Why Accountability Is Important To Your Writing Career


Picture the scene:

You have an idea for a script. Fantastic!

You tell yourself you will write it. Brilliant!

You daydream of all the awards and recognition for that script that will change everything for you. Lovely!

But now is not good to write. Huh?

You’re busy. Ok?

You’ll write it tomorrow. Really?!?

Sound familiar? We’ve all done it, especially me. Putting things off until one day it was that thing you used to think about doing.

It’s all to do with the lack of accountability.  Did you know the probability of completing a goal on your own is only 25%?

Relying on ones self it’s the ultimate definition of  “Adulting”. It’s an extremely condescending ideal, but it’s true as 80% of people see accountability as punishing.

A great character example of this is the protagonist in the film Whiplash.

If you haven’t seen the film (and you must) it’s about Andrew, an aspiring drummer who finds himself under the wing of the most prominent yet abusive instructor Terence Fletcher at prestigious music academy unknown what torture training he’s about to undergo.

At the start of the film Andrew tries to impress fletcher when this scene teacher takes over the class.  Here’s the clip.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ayp72KBYk5o

Most of the Performers do not impress, yet Andrew does well.  Seeing his potential, Fletcher tells Andrew to come back the next day to get there a 6am for an individual session and to not be late.

I repeat NOT TO BE LATE!

So what does Andrew do? Does he set his alarm early? Arrive at 5.30am just to be safe?

No he goes on a date, sleeps in and wakes up at 6.03am and rushes to the school.

https://giphy.com/gifs/Gt6RR05pLflxm/html5

At this moment Andrew does not have self-accountability. Even if he was Usain Bolt, he will still not be there on time.  He has done the one thing Fletcher told him not to do–BE LATE.

He has the talent yet he doesn’t want to put in the effort.  This is the start to Andrews journey to being self- accountable. It’s only when he becomes more accountable later in the film for his action he gets the results (both good and bad).

So how can we be self accountable?

CARROT OR STICK APPROACH

Do you ever notice when we are doing favour/ help for someone we do it, no excuses. This is because there will be a result at the end (i.e. A thank you, recognition). If this works for you, make sure your goals are SHARED and SUPPORTED. It’s why Instagram is so popular. So if you are putting off writing that scene or shudder to think about that treatment, pretend its your bests friend whose asking you. Or even better…

FIND AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER

Having someone checking in on you helps keep you on track. For example we are more than likely to go to the gym if we have a buddy/personal trainer to help us.  It keeps up to a schedule and get end results. It could be a call once a week for that person who met at LSF. You could also be an accountability partner for someone else.  Go on, spread some good Karma.

Here are some tips to start you out https://silverliningpsychology.com/2016/03/28/work-accountability-partner/

STAY WAY FROM THE NEGATIVE PEOPLE

You know the ones. Family members asking when you getting a “real Job” or that friend who wants you to come out of one drink that turns into a messy session.  They are not bad people and great to have in your life, but sometimes its best to geek it up and finish that project.

Be around people you push you up rather than drag you down to your potential.

HAVE A TICKING CLOCK

Writers like deadlines as it gives you a goal to work on. Characters don’t, as they have to react and do something.

What are your thoughts on accountability? Have any tips of your own? Let’s chat on the comments below.

Edwina Tyrrell
Edwina.tyrrell@mail.com
@edwinatyrrell

Edwina Tyrrell is a writer, video editor and online content creator. From creating short videos and infographics to social media marketing, Edwina’s goal is to o help creative people to grow and flourish through high-quality production and content.