Photograph by Christina Morillo through pexels

This yr, I discovered an accountability companion to assist me meet writing deadlines, improve the speed at which I pitch concepts to editors and information me via powerful selections. AHCJ core subject chief for infectious illnesses Bara Vaida and I’ve been assembly over Zoom as soon as a month, and I imagine the connection is already yielding advantages. I not too long ago determined to cease working for a publication for which I’ve been a contributing author for many years — the 12,000-word articles had grow to be too burdensome — and Bara’s suggestions and assist have been essential.

I even have a extra spur-of-the-moment accountability companion in freelance journalist Melba Newsome. We name and textual content one another after we hit writing roadblocks, want pitching recommendation or wish to blow off steam.

I’m not the one AHCJ member who has discovered worth in having an accountability companion. “For me, working with an accountability companion has helped me via the tough spots when my private life has been difficult,” stated AHCJ board member and freelance journalist Jeanne Erdmann. “Realizing that I had a deadline to complete a pitch by a scheduled meet-up helped maintain my profession on observe. Plus, the friendships you construct and deepen via this course of offer you a bigger security internet.”

Final September, AHCJ’s month-to-month Lunch and Learn video chat for freelancers centered on discovering and preserving accountability partners. Not too long ago, I wrote a tip sheet to information members who want to discover such a relationship. 

Listed here are a couple of key factors from that tip sheet.

What’s an accountability companion?

In keeping with the employment Indeed, accountability companions usually:

  • Meet recurrently.
  • Hear and supply each other recommendation.
  • Provide assist in tough conditions.
  • Remind each other of necessary deadlines.
  • Level out self-defeating behaviors.

Traits of an efficient accountability companion

Companions must be somebody who:

  • Meets deadlines by displaying up for conferences and taking objective setting severely.
  • Is reliable and can maintain confidences.
  • Evokes respect in order that you’ll not wish to disappoint them.
  • Gives trustworthy suggestions with kindness.
  • Is optimistic and inspiring and needs you to succeed.
  • Is curious and open-minded and curious about studying and rising.
  • Is versatile.

Sustaining the partnership


  • Present up, don’t cancel.
  • Settle for your companion’s suggestions.
  • Take the partnership severely and take a look at exhausting to fulfill the objectives set in your conferences.


  • Solely focus in your writing and your issues.
  • Get sidetracked into speaking at size about private issues.
  • Disgrace your accountability companion in the event that they don’t meet their objectives.
  • Focus solely in your objectives and writing.

The tip sheet presents additional options for structuring common conferences along with your accountability companion, setting the parameters on the very starting of the connection, and discovering an accountability companion within the first place.


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By Debra