Thursday, August 6, 2020

Consistency and Accountability by Sally Shupe

Do you struggle with dieting, exercising, getting things done, or actually getting written words on a page? I am here to confess that I do!

I thought I had things under control. I was exercising, watching what I ate, and getting some words written down. Until I realized that wasn’t enough. It was hit or miss if I exercised. I found I wasn’t eating healthy foods like I had been. Other things were taking over my writing time. What should you do when you find this happening?

Be consistent and be held accountable! By not being consistent with my diet, exercise, or writing, I was all over the place. Some days I’d eat healthy. Most days I ate whatever was easiest to grab. I wouldn’t get up off the couch to exercise, much less to write a few words. And days later, I could tell a difference. I didn’t feel as well, I lost my energy, I didn’t want to think about writing as the words were harder to find.

But then I realized something. If I wrote down what I should be eating, kept a record of exercises I could do, I had a written plan to follow that took away choice and made sure I followed what I wanted to do. So, I wrote down meals for the upcoming days, made sure I had those foods on hand, and listed exercises. This way, I could just jump in and get started, rather than waste time trying to figure out what to do.

Here's what I found: by writing down the foods I wanted to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and snacks, I wasn’t just opening the refrigerator door to see what was in there. I had a plan. I knew what to look for. The same for exercising. I came up with a plan to run, concentrate on legs, arms, etc. My exercising took off.

The same became true for my writing. By having a written plan mapped out as to what I needed to work on, how many words I needed, I was able to organize my thoughts regarding the story I was working on, add words to my story, write down ideas for future stories so I wouldn’t forget them. I noticed a difference in the amount of time I spent writing. It wasn’t taken over by other things. I made writing a priority.

Throw in an accountability partner, someone who will ask those hard questions like what did you do today, did you get x, y, and z done like you planned, how many words did you write today, you’ll find the inspiration and energy to get done what you need to get done. Consistency and accountability are keys to success!

What are some things that have taken over your writing, or health plans, or cleaning plans? How did you overcome those obstacles?

Sally Shupe lives in southwest Virginia with her husband, has two grown kids-a daughter still at home and a son not-so nearby, and a whole bunch of pets: four dogs, three cats, a rabbit, and birds at the birdfeeder (and the mandatory snowman when the snow cooperates). She is an aspiring Christian author of small town contemporary inspirational romance, with two completed manuscripts and several more in progress.

When Sally’s not writing or working full-time, she is a freelance editor for several authors who write fiction and nonfiction; students working on dissertation papers; a copy editor/content editor for several e-book publishing companies; performs beta reading for various authors; publishes book reviews; is a member of ACFW; and loves genealogy, running, and crocheting.

Sally publishes weekly blog posts that can be found through her website:, and she posts on the first Thursday of the month at