By B. Lynn Goodwin

Writing is a lonely business. Sometimes. Other times it’s a joyous celebration with friends or a slog through one’s own unique valley of despair.

Frankly, I’m glad I’m not on a writing team at the moment, though that might be an interesting project if the subject matter was right. Since I work alone, though, it’s up to me to keep myself motivated.

Lately, my husby has helped. He became my accountability partner last night when he asked, “Did you put in two hours on the memoir today?”

“No. Not today.”

I got up and got in the car by 9—okay 9:10—so I could give my journaling workshop for the Family Caregiver Alliance over in Menlo Park at 11. Then I was going to find a Starbuck’s on or near the Stanford Campus, but frankly, I was too exhausted, so I got in my car for the long trek home, and when I got here I was so tired I fell asleep for an hour and a half.  “I didn’t get it done because of the workshop. I don’t mind your asking though.”

I never mind accountability, except when it makes me feel small or irresponsible. I won’t mind if he asks me tonight, but he won’t because I already e-mailed him that I put in two hours. I might not have done that without his asking me about it last night.

If you don’t have an accountability partner right now and you need a little encouragement, here’s my question: “What did you write about today?” If the answer is nothing, think about your reason. You know I’ll understand. Why not post an answer below, and then you will have written today.

If you need a little encouragement, here’s something I shared yesterday in the journaling workshop, where I encouraged caregivers to vent, rant, process, discover, and find peace. I offer them to you, because every time I read them, I remember the value of what we all do.

Why Write?

“It is a delicious thing to write, to be no longer yourself but to move in an entire universe of your own creating.”  — Gustave Flaubert

“For many of us, writing is a form of prayer, and when our lives become too busy and we don’t give ourselves time to write and develop our writing, we feel diminished.”    –Sheila Binder

“We cannot live through a day without impacting the world around us – and we have a choice: What sort of impact do we want to make?” ~ Dr. Jane Goodall 

“Problems are opportunities in work clothes.”  – Thomas Edison

“Words, like eyes, are windows into a person’s soul, and thus each writer, in some small way, helps to enrich the world.”   –Mark Robert Waldman

“Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.Samuel Johnson

“A birddoesn’t sing because it has an answer,

it sings because it has a song. — Maya Angelou, poet

“There are two ways of spreading light – to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”  —– Edith Wharton

BlynnP B. Lynn Goodwin is the owner of Writer Advice,, and the author of both You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers (Tate Publishing) and TALENT (Eternal Press). Her blog is at Goodwin’s stories and articles have been published in Voices of Caregivers; Hip Mama; Small Press Review; Dramatics Magazine; The Sun; Good and many other venues. She is currently working on a memoir about getting married for the first time at age 62.

Talent Cover


8 responses to “Accountability

  1. My husband and I wrap up our day with an accountability report over dinner, although it’s more like an “accomplishability” report. We share what we’ve accomplished, large and small. Always an important time of the day for both of us. Thanks for sharing, Lynn!

  2. Lynn, I love the way you join the practical and the poetic! Thank you.

    On Fri, May 13, 2016 at 6:42 AM, Telling HerStories: The Broad View wrote:

    > yemenijourney posted: ” Writing is a lonely business. Sometimes. Other > times it’s a joyous celebration with friends or a slog through one’s own > unique valley of despair. Frankly, I’m glad I’m not on a writing team at > the moment, though that might be an interesting project” >

  3. face what you know

    It’s almost 11:00am and thus far I’ve done my morning pages, usually 750+ words , and a first stab at an essay. Maybe three pages? The rest of my day is packed but I hope to go online and catch up on WIP. Thank you for asking!

  4. I love the Maya Angelou quote … And yes, “I sing because I have a song.” Yesterday I attended my weekly Writers’ Workshop. Being with a group regularly does help with my accountability. Your blog helps, too. Thank you! I don’t mind being asked.

  5. Pingback: Accountability – B. Lynn Goodwin

  6. Thanks so much for your responses. I will remember your words. =)
    Now, speaking of accountability, here is an IMPORTANT QUESTION: Have you looked at the Flash Fiction Contest described on the home page of Writer Advice, We’d love to read your work. =)

    Right now I am being accountable for putting the word out there. =)

    Writer Advice Managing Editor,
    Author of YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers & Author of TALENT

  7. This is a great blog post, Lynn. Today I wrote at least two hours, working on an article and communicating with authors, and now I’m being accountable to you. I don’t have an accountability partner and you are reminding me how wise it is to have one. Thank you!

  8. Thanks for being accountable, Mary Jo. Also, thanks for your kind words. =)

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