For some reason, I decided to take a vacation in the middle of planning a wedding, moving to a new state, launching a book, and rehearsing for a big transition at work. What kind of sick self-torture is this?
With all the craziness on my plate though, I still have not missed a blog post. Pardon me while I reach over my shoulder and pat myself on the back.
I hope you know by now that I would never actually say this to brag, but to hopefully make a point that will inspire you.
I haven’t missed a blog post not because I’m incredibly disciplined and know how to budget my time so well, but because I really don’t want to let you all (my readers) down. I know it wouldn’t be the end of the world for most of you if I missed a post here and there. In fact, you might even enjoy a nice break from me. But last year, I made a commitment to you all, and I intend to keep it.
For the creative, there is something powerful about making a public commitment to your work. I could promise myself to post three times a week, but a public promise to my readers means that they will hold me accountable. If I don’t show up, someone will miss me. Even if it’s only my mom.
This is extremely important for writers, or any artist who works in a more isolated manner. Whenever I’m writing a book, I always set a deadline, or a completion date for myself. I’m sure many of us do this with our projects. But we can’t stop there. Once I’ve set that deadline, I send the date to two or three close friends and ask them to help hold me accountable. Maybe I’ll ask them to proofread the book for me, but only if I can send it to them by the date I promise. The risk of disappointing others, or losing out on their support and services raises the stakes for me. It ensures that I’ll get my butt in the chair, no matter how crowded my schedule gets.
So maybe it’s time you and your work became official, even Facebook official. Maybe you need to stop dating your work in secret, just so you have an excuse to cheat when you’re feeling lazy. Maybe it’s time to make a public commitment to your work. I’m not saying you have to announce it to the whole world. As I have learned many times, the whole world doesn’t really care. But choosing a few trusted friends (like the few who are cool enough to read this blog) and asking them to hold you accountable will help you find more consistency in your work than you ever thought possible.