I had an idea and since it’s been forever that I’ve actually used my blog, I thought this would be a good place to put it.
I was part of a mentorship through the UW-Madison Writers’ Institute last year and it was helpful just to have someone I checked in with each week. Being a person who isn’t great at lying and also wanting to not let my mentor down, it helped me to work on something consistently. I wanted to have that again. Having another person to “report” in to so that I could build a better writing habit. Making my own deadlines has never worked. A real deadline is one thing, but knowing that nothing will happen if I don’t make the self-imposed “deadline” made it too easy to not care about it.
For months (years), I’ve gone back and forth into writing ruts. Perfectionism, or more exactly, fear of failure froze me from writing. When I was in the mentorship, I didn’t think about this. I didn’t send in any words unless I wanted to so I was able to relax a bit. My mentor was supportive and helped keep me moving forward. This is what I want to try doing.
My idea is this: hold each other accountable and help to spur each other on. I would fill out a sheet with my goals and steps I would take to get to these goals. There would be an estimated timeline, but it could be flexible because…life. With my writing partner(s), we would establish how often we would check in (daily, once a week, twice a week, etc) and with what method (DM, text, email). We could decide if a rewards system was something that would help or if we merely wanted some support/cheerleading. If someone wanted to share some of their writing, they would choose that for themselves. Also, if it was something that seemed beneficial, we could send in progress reports. Any realizations we had while writing. Are there obstacles or issues we’re noticing?
It could be like having a cheerleader and a counselor all in one. The beauty is, no one has to have the same goals. They don’t have to be the same writing level. We can cheer each other on whether you’re drafting or revising or plotting.
I’ve noticed places where you can find critique partners or beta readers, mentorships, or editing and revising help, but I can’t say I’ve seen anything that helps get writers together to just help each other on that had some structure to it. Maybe it’s out there and I’ve never seen it.
Ex. of a goal sheet
Goal(s): To finish a first draft (approx. 72k words) of Space Repo by the end of October 2019. Starting August 1, 2019. This will be a 3 month goal.
1. 5600 words a week (800 a day)
2. Check points for Act I (approx. 4 weeks), Act II (9 weeks in), and Act III (12 weeks)
3. Monthly progress report including a page of words to help get over my fears
Check-ins will be Sunday nights via email with possible frantic texts sprinkled throughout. I am looking for support and maybe a little tough love on occasion.
I would like to write this with the goal of publication in mind.
What do you think? Any thoughts on a spiffy name/title?