At the end of every month I get to check in with my sister Sophie, to talk about life, encourage each other and set my new writing targets for the coming weeks. I love being accountable to someone as it increases my productivity, purpose and self-esteem, and she is just the right combination of someone who gets me and someone you don’t want to mess with. On my own on any given day I might previously have started with an idea, allowed it to be interrupted by any number of things Apparently More Important Than Writing and then realised it was time to pick up the children. I could excuse that while I was struggling with health and raising pre-schoolers, but not any more.
Now I need to prioritise my activities and manage my time; working to a deadline has certainly made me more productive. There are now set times for research and reading, writing and regular blogging (here and elsewhere) and a crystallising of the work in progress and the tasks I need to work on to achieve it in a sensible time-frame. Since regularly chatting with my sister involves being co-ordinated (she is in Vancouver and I am in Cambridge), I look forward to seeing her and really value what she has to offer.
Sometimes as a writer you do need a running-mate to remind you to maintain your pace and to keep focused.