The Buddy System

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Like someone quitting cigarettes or dieting, when it comes to writing, I’ve fallen off the wagon from time to time. I’ve gone weeks, months, almost a year without writing in the past. I’ve tried to create a writing schedule, a rewards system, anything to keep writing consistently.

Recently, I spoke with a client who was on a diet. She said she inspired others to lose weight and now they all get together and share their stories of success and frustration. Similarly, a friend of mine is trying to quit drinking soda. She has a small group on Facebook that encourages each other to stop drinking coke. They check up on each other with messages and post to keep on track.

Being a twin, I have a built-in buddy, so we decided to apply the buddy system to writing. We each created a writing goal chart outlining how many chapters we are going to write/edit a month. If we accomplish our goals we get rewards. The rewards vary depending on the difficulty level of the goal. It can range from getting an eyebrow wax to a new book or movie. Every quarter we are going to see who accomplished the most goals and that person gets a special reward. If I lose I have to paint my sister’s wall. If that doesn’t keep me motivated, I don’t know what will. In addition to setting goals, we meet every week to write and edit together and discuss our progress. We motivate and encourage each other, especially when we are feeling discouraged. If my sister falls behind, I am there to get her back on track and vise versa.

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