Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Check in with a Buddy

Another writing ritual that keeps me going is checking in with my writing buddy Harriet. Every Friday we e-mail each other to report how many submissions we sent out, what rejections we received, and how much writing we got done. We’ve been doing this for more than two years, and I must say it has helped me tremendously in keeping a regular pace.
Having someone to check in with on a weekly basis makes me do stuff. It helps me with submitting my writing to literary journals. Submitting is mainly an administrative chore, and thus more likely to be pushed off the to-do list, but since I’ve got to report to my buddy on Friday, I’m sure to have at least something to report. Very often this had me scrambling late Friday afternoons to get at least one submission out the door, and invariably that scrambling put me in a bad mood because I was tired from the week, and the kids were home from school and wanted attention, and I had to get dinner on the table.
So this year I switched submission day to Monday. Early Monday morning I check my submissions log, and usually I manage to get at least one, if not two, submissions done before the family morning begins at seven. It sets the right tone for focusing on writing for the week, and it ensures that I have something to report to my buddy on Friday!
An added bonus of the buddy system is that I feel we’re in this together. Harriet is always one of the first people I notify if I receive an acceptance. After all, she’s been part of the game all along. We commiserate, and we cheer each other on. Thank you, Harriet!


  1. What a great idea! I should look for a buddy!

  2. A really good tip. Lots of people have exercise buddies which keeps them exercising, so why not for writers, too?

  3. You should, Gillian!
    Nancy, I was also thinking of exercising buddies when I was writing this. Buddy systems should work for all kinds of worthwhile pursuits.