Reading & Writing

Writing Contract

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Have you seen this article?  It was written by Aimee Bender, author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake {among others}.  I stumbled upon it at exactly the right time.  In essence, it’s about making writing a required part of your day.  She shares a story about a conversation with a friend in which they agree on a writing contract – a way to involve someone close to you in your goals and help keep you accountable.

When reading this, I thought a lot about the steps I’ve been taking to ensure that I am accountable to my own reading and writing goals.  As a list lover, I’ve made a checklist.  This works for me in a couple of ways:

 

  1. Sometimes I just meet my goal so that I can follow through on the action of putting a check in a box.  Is that weird?  Probably.  It’s the same as adding something to your to-do list after you’ve already done it, just so that you can check it off.
  2. I’ve also decided to take weekly pictures of my log to share on this blog.  And if I’m planning to share those pictures, I darn well want at least most of the boxes checked off.

I stop short of actually involving a friend.  Maybe it’s because I’m bashful about all of this in real life because I’m not a writer.  Why would I be making writing goals?  I keep trying because I’ve had something brewing for a few years now and I have no idea how to get it out.  Thirty minutes a day is not long and I get nearly nothing written during that time, so at this speed it will probably take me twenty years.  But getting this done in twenty years is much better than not getting it done at all, right?

And this idea of setting goals only if one is a certain kind of writer pops up in Aimee’s article — a friend asks her if this contract is really only for good writers.  Does any writer actually think that they’re a good writer?  Well, maybe some do.  But so many times I’ve read essays and articles and blogs where writers admit that they are riddled with self doubt and feel as though they’re frauds.  Knowing that makes me feel better, and gives me a little more encouragement to plod through this story that I have.  So, plod on friends!

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