Could it be accountability? One of the pitfalls of the typical creative process is that it’s a mostly solitary endeavor. You set your own goals and deadlines and are accountable to yourself alone if you miss them. Awesome, right? I mean, isn’t that what every storyteller wants—not answering to The Man? Absolutely. And for a remarkable few, this works. But it’s a major challenge for most of us, who engage in a balancing act between progressing our art and maintaining other commitments, including work, family, and friends. What’s the solution?
I believe that to move forward and see results, people need to be held accountable. (Yes, this applies to everyone, not just creatives.) For the remarkable few who can jot deliverables into a calendar and consistently deliver to themselves, great; do it. But for the rest of you, seek a partner. And look outside your closest relationships to find one.
Frankly, there’s no real consequence to not submitting a deliverable to your spouse or sibling each week or month. Often, they can even play the role of enabler, wanting so much to spend time with you that they easily extend your “deadline.” That’s sweet but not helpful. If you’re in a position to hire an accountability partner or collaborator, find an affordable professional. If you’re not, find a way to make the extra money to do so. Dreams require investment and sacrifice, otherwise they wouldn’t be worth fighting for. Working with a pro forces you into an equation of accountability. Process is hugely important, as are results. An uninspiring process will kill your motivation to get to the endgame. Less than stellar results will provide you with nothing but mediocre feedback. Work with a pro and you can have your cake (process) and eat it too (results).