Sometimes it takes extra motivation to write, edit, proofread, rewrite, and re-edit your writing projects. If only you could clone yourself and create two of you—it would be easier to get the job done! Well, the experts at Writer’s Relief have a suggestion: body doubling! While it sounds like a science project gone awry, body doubling is simply another term for “accountability partner.” Here’s how body doubling can improve your writing.
How To Use Body Doubling To Improve Your Writing
The concept of body doubling began as a tool for those with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), since having an accountability partner can help anchor you to the present moment and task, reducing distractions. It’s the same idea as classmates doing homework together or finding a workout buddy.
Body doubling can be a useful tool in your writing life: You’ll better focus on your writing when working alongside a friend or partner. This can be either online or in person, as long as you each make notable progress on your respective projects. Your partner doesn’t even have to be working on the same task, just alongside you.
Writers Can Use Body Doubling To…
Break through writer’s block: Sometimes you’re stuck on a word, a scene, or a character. Having someone nearby will inspire you to keep writing when you might have given up. The implied social obligation to accomplish your task may even motivate you to try writing prompts or creative exercises to bust through writer’s block.
Get some feedback: Sometimes it’s useful to have someone look over your writing with fresh eyes. If you and your body double are both writers using the time together to work on projects, you can use your partner as a sounding board to review your work and make suggestions. In the same way, you can offer your writing buddy critiques as well.
Overcome boredom: Some parts of your writing life are probably more fun than others. Maybe it’s time to edit and proofread, but you’d rather just skip those steps. Or you should be working on a new poem, but you’re not feeling enthusiastic. If you’re working alone, it’s easier to take shortcuts in your fine-tuning or to procrastinate and walk the dog instead. Having someone working beside you will give you an incentive to push through the more difficult stages of the writing process.
Receive some encouragement: If you’re trying something new, or just received another rejection letter, or aren’t sure if your writing is the best it can be, the person you’re body doubling with may be able to offer insights, expertise, and a sympathetic ear. Your writing partner may even share a strategy or method you weren’t aware of, which could help you improve your writing and your submissions.
Having someone by your side helps you conquer anxiety and provides moral support, especially when you’re outside of your comfort zone. Something that might seem too hard, too involved, or too disappointing will feel less so when you have a writing partner cheering you on.
A good place to find the perfect partner would be in your own writing community, whether that be a close writer friend or someone in your writing group. Remember, body doubling only works if you both are willing to put in the effort. A partner who talks for the duration of your sessions, has their own procrastination issues, or nitpicks every little detail of your work-in-progress will negatively influence your motivations and work ethic.
If you need an accountability partner for sending out your writing submissions, Writer’s Relief can help! We do all the research to pinpoint the best markets for your work to boost your odds of getting published. And we help keep our writer clients on schedule with gentle reminders and a supportive team of strategists who will be your best cheerleaders. Learn more about our services, and submit your writing sample to our Review Board today!
Question: What aspects of your writing life could be improved with a body double?