Accountability: What Every Writer Needs, Otherwise Known as a Good Kick in the Pants

Accountability…Unless you are a writer under contract for a book needing revisions, there really is little accountability for the writer who is still at the beginning of her writing career.  While I have a picture book under contract and submitted all necessary revisions, I don’t have any current book deadlines looming.  I don’t want to be a one book author.  I have other stories to tell.


I have a young adult novel, completed, sitting in a drawer after getting nowhere with publishers or agents, though I beat out 4000 people in last year’s Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Competition to make the top 1000.  It needs major rewrites, which is quite daunting considering the novel is 65,000 words (roughly 250 pages).


I started a middle grade novel over a year ago.  It is literally in the last chapter of the rough draft, and I daily think, “Today’s the day I will finish the rough draft.”  And every night I say, as did my favorite literary character Scarlett O’Hara, “Tomorrow is another day.”


Time marches on.  It’s amazing how I find time to blog, time to check facebook, time to twitter, time to do laundry (sometimes), time to make dinner, time to be with my family… You get the picture.  So, why don’t I just finish the last chapter?  Because of accountability.  I have none.  That, and I am afraid.  Afraid that I will finish the novel and the rewrites that follow, that I will send queries to agents and publishers, who will, in turn, send me curt rejection notices that say, “This is not for me.  Please don’t take this to be a reflection of your work, but…”  Blah, blah, blah.


And just like my young adult novel, this new middle grade novel will be destined to use up office drawer space, buried away for no one to ever read.  Yes, I know, if you never try, you’ll never succeed.  Right?  After all it took 99 rejections before my picture book was offered a contract. So, tomorrow is another day.  And tomorrow I will finish this novel.  Well, maybe by the weekend.  And now you all know, so please hold me accountable.  Ask me about it.  Make me squirm with embarrassment if I don’t finish.  Be parental.  You have my permission. Thank you.