Discover more from The Writer's Guide to...by Zoe Lea
Photographing my food made me realise I'm hiding
How accountability is really powerful in keeping you visible
It’s been a minute! How are you? What you working on?
I’m going through the final edits of my novel, The Betrayal (working title, might need your help with that later) which is due to be published this time next year. Did I tell you that?
I can’t remember with so much going on. But my book is planned for publication October 24’ as it has a wintery kind of vibe to it, and as we’re just getting around to line edits, it’s a way off being ready this winter. So it’s planned for publication this time next year!
In other news, I had a bit of an epiphany around my social media and online presence. Because, here’s what’s been happening to me, and I think it’s a circle that most of us as creatives get stuck in.
See if this sounds familiar:
Busy working on writing
You show up online, being very visible.
It works! You get writing gigs, job offers, agent enquiries, collaboration opportunities, and you get busy.
You start on the work! But you stop showing up and being visible online because you’re so busy.
Your writing work continues to grow, but your online community dwindles.
You lose connection, and all that time you took building up your audience and community on social media starts to slide.
You come to announce your book for sale, or look for fresh writing work and…..crickets.
Keep showing up
As writers, we can’t really afford to let our visibility slide.
We need to keep showing up, being out there, keep being visible letting people know we’re creating, and what we’re creating because that’s how we get writing gigs, get headhunted for amazing jobs, get on the next publishers/ agents radar, sell our books and all the good stuff.
And I only realized this when I started a new online health program.
Because this new online health program I’m on, is to be honest, very intense.
In week one of this program, I had to start photographing every single thing I ate and drank for the personal trainer to get a handle on my current diet. Alongside the workouts, and reading all the educational material about nutrition and exercise, I had to photograph everything.
Every single thing.
Down to a cup of tea or drink of water.
Accountability is a secret weapon
Doing this showed me that I eat a lot of crap, chocolate biscuits whilst writing, pinching a couple of sweets here and there from my daughter, far too many snacks after a glass of wine on a weekend, that kind of stuff.
And also, that taking a minute to take a quick photo made me very accountable.
I found myself stopping from reaching for the biscuits that I’d usually wolf down mindlessly whilst working on a scene because I didn’t want to admit that I was eating so much rubbish.
Accountability is a really powerful tool.
I’m finding this health program a little tricky, and one thing I know will keep me on track, is if I document the process and make it visible.
Make myself accountable.
I started doing this…
My go-to is social media. I started posting stories of my work-outs, my meal choices, and chatting to other people who were also on the program with me, and without realizing it, in a really short space of time, I began creating a community.
Showing up. Being visible, but in the wrong way. I was doing this on my Instagram account that I usually posted writing and book related stuff on. I was confusing my community there as it was for a different audience entirely!
My content was suddenly all about healthy living choices, workouts and meal planning and had nothing to do with my writing. I wanted to be accountable, to chat and see what other people on the program were doing, but had stopped doing any of that with my creativity or writing projects.
Where was my accountability with my writing on social media?
Why had I stopped that?
So I opened another Instagram account.
One for my new friends who are interested in healthy lunch ideas and one where I can show up and celebrate my step intake for the day and keep my writing account to just that - writing.
Now I know I need to use my writing account with the same energy I have for my new healthy program account and it’s all about the accountability.
I need to hold myself accountable on there.
Celebrate my writing wins, share my goals and projects, document my creative progress. By doing that, I’m showing up and being visible.
Document the process
I’ve talked about documenting rather than creating on here before, but kind of forgot my own advice until now.
Creating content is super easy if you document what you’re doing rather than trying to think of new things to create every time.
In combination with accountability, it’s a great strategy to keep showing up and to get all the stuff DONE.
I have a outline of a strategy for my Instagram and TikTok accounts for next month. Post outlines for three times a week that will be super easy to do.
For paid subscribers, I’ll be sharing some of my templates in the next few weeks.
And if you’d like to follow my new healthy stuff and lifestyle choices, the new Instagram account I opened is here: @zoelealikes
My writing and creating account is here: @zoelewriter
Do you have an account I should be following? And are you showing up on there, holding yourself accountable and documenting your creative process? Let me know!
Have a great week,