When I was working at Miyazaki International College I had a wonderful accountability partner. Laurie was writing a collection of stories about powerful Scottish women from the 17th century and I was writing about the Rwandan genocide. We wrote a chapter or story each week and left it on each other’s desks. Then a day or two later, we would meet at a small coffee shop framed by rice paddies to give feedback and share ideas. Both of us completed our projects and published our work in journals.
Without Laurie’s collaboration I seriously doubt I would have gotten the work done. We shared equal admiration for each other’s work. We liked each other and held one another in high esteem. I didn’t want to let Laurie down so I felt responsible both to produce and to provide meaningful feedback to her work. I am certain Laurie felt the same. We agreed to write regularly and promised to read each other’s work faithfully. This kept us both accountable.
Having a writing accountability partner keeps you writing through dry spells. It keeps you focused and keeps your “eye on the prize”. Accountability partners motivate one another, provide inspiration, and help you think and process. Accountability partners also aid in the things that don’t come naturally or that you don’t particularly like. For example, I don’t like to look for publications to submit my work to, but Laurie loved that, so she took leadership for that aspect of my work. My strength is in description and expansion, so that was one of my gifts to her.
Accountability partners play a vital role in keeping writers writing. I would love to hear about your accountability partners and/or how you have found one.