How To Make Yourself Creatively Accountable
If you are trying to make a living with a creative endeavour you need to hold yourself accountable for what you do.
Writing requires enormous dedication.
There is a large percentage of the population who have thought about writing a book. Supposedly this figure is around eighty percent.
Most people don’t get past the initial thought stage.
Action is required.
Even when you have developed past this point and actually written something of substance, then there are still a lot of obstacles in your way.
If you have put so much effort into writing something substantial, then it deserves to reach a wider audience.
There are a ton of ways to do this. Advances in technology have made it easier than ever to reach an audience. However, this also requires a lot of effort, more than the actual writing itself.
I am preparing to self-publish my first book and have been swamped by a huge amount of information on the subject.
The garnering of information has become a sort of obsession and has in fact become a wall to just getting out there and doing it.
Just as with the writing itself, there are similar blocks to deal with:
- The fear that no one will appreciate what you have written.
- The fear of failure to find readers, the fear of criticism.
- The struggle with formatting your book so it works in all the various mediums.
- Trying to understand how all the publishing systems operate.
Whew! The list goes on.
Frank Herbert, Dune.
In the beginning I found the writing difficult.
I had a real battle trying to put together something of semblance. I had so much I needed to learn about the writing craft.
Several times I wrote myself into a corner and, because of lack of experience, didn’t know how to solve my literary obstacle. Then I went away and researched solutions.
Eventually I got there and now the actual job of writing is getting steadily easier.
My output has increased, not only because of the knowledge I have accumulated, but because I have developed a system of accountability.
I write five days a week.
In the beginning I would write solidly for one hour a day. Now I average between two to three hours a day.
It enabled me to churn out a first draft for my next novel in around three months.
I have realised that it is a question of mindset.
I no longer worry about the finished product. I concern myself with putting in a constant flow of little blocks. I focus on purely sitting down and putting in the time.
I try not to beat myself up for the volume of work I produce in the individual blocks. I just focus on the ritual of putting in the hours.
I treat it as a job.
noun ac·count·abil·i·ty \ə-ˌkau̇n-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\
: the quality or state of being accountable; especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions
Trying to balance the writing with selling books as a business is not as easy.
That is the next part I am trying to establish.
I have set myself a goal to put all my effort in doing what I know I should be doing. A similar pattern to the writers learning curve has emerged.
I am a novice, I need to learn. I have researched, I have taken courses. I have watched hours of webinars.
Now I have to find a way to make myself accountable for getting the business done.
Are you struggling to balance creativity and business?
Leave a comment below or join the mailing list and let me know.