Accountability by Carol Harrison

My list of ideas I hope to accomplish some day and projects developing from them continues to grow faster than I can cross some of them off or mark as completed. It causes feelings of failure at times with negative voices chiming in my mind about how I haven’t accomplished very much today, this week, or even during a month of efforts.


I shared this with my oldest daughter a couple of years ago, in the midst of a pity party threatening to take on epic proportions. I had almost decided to tear up the lists, pack away the writing, and just give up. Everything from writing more on each idea to editing the works already written seemed insurmountable. Did God even intend for me to continue telling stories, teaching Bible studies, and writing?


Feelings and negative voices chattering in my mind do not often correspond to facts. My daughter reminded me of this. She encouraged or challenged me to write down what I hoped to accomplish in the next month – set some goals. This could and should include writing but also speaking, teaching, and marketing too. Break them into small steps. Then send her a copy of that list. At the end of the month, I needed to mark off what had been completed and what needed to have more work done on it could be moved to the next month.


I agreed as long as she did the same for herself and sent them to me. Accountability for both of us. It changed the to-do lists and hope-to-get-to ideas into goals broken into smaller chunks. With my daughter knowing the goals, I couldn’t procrastinate working on them.


When those feelings of inadequacy or failure surface, revisiting the lists stored on my computer with the red “done” beside many items helps me focus on the facts. Yes, I did accomplish something. Yes, I have written things. Yes, I have taken a workshop or course to help me learn more about the craft of writing.


I read this quote by Brian Dive. “Accountability is a statement of personal promise, both to yourself and to the people around you to deliver specific, defined results.” What results did I need to accomplish by making those lists? Accountability to someone else has become a way of keeping me on track and focused on using the gifts God has given me. It has helped me set some deadlines for myself. Marking them off, when completed, grants a sense of accomplishment that encourages.


Several other people regularly ask me how my writing is going. I don’t want to continue to tell them I’ve done nothing or make excuses. This keeps me working on the next writing project.


Then I have a prayer team. I give them monthly updates on what I am working on, what I need prayer for, and goals that have been met that are praise items. This team is a relatively new feature. I had people that prayed as I spoke at various events but never translated the importance to my writing until I listened to a mini coaching session by Ruth Snyder. It made sense. If I am being a good steward and wanting to use the abilities God has given, then the enemy’s desire will be to stall the progress, sow seeds of doubt, and set the negative monkey voices chattering about being a failure and an imposter. The way to combat that is through prayer.


No matter how many classes I take, accountability partners I have, or prayers people offer for my work, I still need to do the work. I need to sit and write. Persistence is key. Accountability through a partner, a prayer team, a writing coach, a group of other writers, or a combination of all of these offers encouragement.


Bob Proctor said it this way, “Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to results.”

Who keeps you accountable as you continue to be a good steward of the writing gift God has given you?

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1 comment

  1. Belinda says:

    A lot of good meat to chew on there!

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