I don't have legions of adoring fans that have been peppering me for my latest book. In fact, I don't have legions of adoring fans. In fact, no one knows who the hell I am or what I am writing.
On the bright side of things, that's given me a lot of time to really think about the kind of book I want to put out there and to do it on my own timeline.
On the dark side of things, it means that all of my deadlines are self-imposed. The time I put into my book is above and beyond all of my other commitments. It doesn't put a roof over my head, food on my table, or recycled cliches in my blog. There is no nervous agent calling and checking in on my progress. There is no fan forum on the internet speculating about what I'm up to.
In other words, this whole ball of yarn could spin out in a moment's notice.
At the beginning of 2015 when I decided to start writing a book again, I decided to hold myself accountable by writing my progress down. I went to Google Calendars and printed out January, February, and March. If I worked over the course of a day, I wrote down what I did on that day. My notes aren't a big deal. I might just write down the chapter number. The point is, it's a method I came up with so that I can look across a whole month and see my progress.
In addition, I found that it held me accountable. At the end of a day, I need to be able to write something down. I've kept these calendars up for the last year and a half. I only ever print out three months at a time. I always write down my progress with a mechanical pencil. I keep my calendars in the bag I take back and forth to work. It's ritualistic, but it's really kept me on the straight and narrow.