Over the weekend I changed the look of the site. It’s still simple, but more colorful. I’m happy with the way it turned out. It’s easy to navigate, it doesn’t look bad on mobile devices, and the backend is manageable.

If you subscribe to this blog via feedburner, I encourage you to opt out and resubscribe via the form I have on the sidebar. I am attempting to grow my subscriber list with the intention of letting you all know of upcoming courses (Scrivener 3 and Scrivener iOS) but also some workbooks I’m in the process of writing, which will be available online.

Among the many topics I want to write about one is the importance of having an accountabilty partner. During the summer, I lamented to Facebook group I belong to that I was having a difficult time working on Julius, and that no matter what I did my mojo had disappeared. I was frustrated in the direction the story was heading. I didn’t feel motivated to write it because of the ongoing anxiety. And, I was doubting myself.

Most of the advice I received was that I needed someone for accountability. I agreed with them, but where would I find this person? As it so happend, a former Scrivener student and member of the group sent me a private message, suggesting we become accountability partners .

We’ve been working together since mid-July, starting with emails and exchanging chapters. We have progressed to once a week Skype discussions, as well as continuing our chapter exchanges via email.

The outcome of having an accountability partner has made me more productive with the added benefit of feeling more confident writing this story, and enjoying it.

I’ve had beta readers in the past and participated in writing groups, but I never felt that with the feedback I was getting that it helped me improve the story. It wasn’t until this partnership that I discovered the secret to a good acountability partner: you both should be covering similar topics. Both Debbie and I are writing about characters who are leftists.  Debbie’s book is historical fiction while mine is contemporary fiction whose characters are heavily influenced by events in the past.

Another key factor when you’re working with your partner is to ask a lot of questions. What works, what doesn’t work. What needs to be fleshed out. What might be backstory could be info dump to the reader. We both wear three hats: writer, editor and reader. We ask questions. We brainstorm scenes together, and with the feedback we both give each other we rework our scenes.

Her questions and feedback have been so valuable that I find myself excited to work on the manuscript and seeing it come to its conclusion. Writing this story has become a pleasure again and I love that I have a reader who tells me, “I love where you’re going with it.”

The big takeaway here is that if you find yourself in a slump find an accountability partner. The best partner is one who is writing in a similar genre and who understands the challenges of that genre.