Accountability

Accountability - Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Just a quick little post here about accountability and how grateful I feel to have it. I met a poet/novelist/playwright/meditation professor back in 2016 in a writing workshop in San Francisco. Ever since then, I’ve been meeting with her on and off for most weeks, meeting via Skype on mornings, despite me living in California then and her living in Pennsylvania. We focused mostly on making progress with our novels, but oftentimes, it became time focused on our own work. She on her academic writing and me with my client work, mostly focused on copywriting and editing and other freelance-writing-type work. And even when I moved into a RV full-time with my family and stayed in areas where wifi was scant, we made it work, texting or emailing each other so we knew we were writing.

We met, and still meet, via Skype or FaceTime, most mornings and work using Pomodoros (25 minutes of focused work, followed by a 5 minute break). Soon, we introduced meditation into the equation and began almost every session with 5 to 30 minute meditation sessions. Since she also taught meditation to her students in her university, this felt like a mini-meditation class. This calmed our spirits and nervous system down so we could settle into whatever work we were about to do, whether creative or not.

Today we met up after not meeting since the holidays and I was glad when she reminded me the importance of not giving up on my novel, which I had honestly put on hiatus for the moment, only working on it when I felt like it. Instead, I told her, I was working on my blogging practice. What about the five minutes you used to do every day? she reminded me. She recalled how happy I had felt even after just five minutes, how often five minutes would turn into ten, and sometimes 20, and times when it was longer. Being in the revision stage of my novel has been scary, and many times, made me feel lethargic. I’d rather wash dishes than have to risk figuring out what to do next. After a few minutes of resisting with her, what she said actually resonated. I could feel it in my heart space, my gut. I’m beginning to realize how much my body has to come on board for me to know it’s the right thing to do. And in this case, I’m glad I listened to my body. My friend and I both agreed to just five minutes, and no more, to just work on our respective and neglected novels. I opened up my Scrivener file where I had last left off, freewriting about a knot I had to unravel with a few of the characters in my novel, in a certain scene in particular. And in just five minutes, I felt a little less lethargic, a little less scared. And even, dare I say, a little more excited about what was to come next.

And that, my friends, is the power of accountability. Oftentimes in life, you need someone else to remind you to keep going. To remind you of the important things you’ve almost forgotten. I must say, I feel immense gratitude that I have found a friend who gives me that accountability!

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