Public Health

How freelancers can discover and maintain accountability companions


Picture by Christina Morillo through pexels

This yr, I discovered an accountability companion to assist me meet writing deadlines, enhance the speed at which I pitch concepts to editors and information me by way of robust choices. AHCJ core matter chief for infectious illnesses Bara Vaida and I’ve been assembly over Zoom as soon as a month, and I consider the connection is already yielding advantages. I lately determined to cease working for a publication for which I’ve been a contributing author for many years — the 12,000-word articles had develop into 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 need 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 by way of 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 monitor. Plus, the friendships you construct and deepen by way of this course of provide you with a bigger security internet.”

Final September, AHCJ’s month-to-month Lunch and Study video chat for freelancers targeted on discovering and preserving accountability companions. Lately, I wrote a tip sheet to information members who want to discover such a relationship. 

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

What’s an accountability companion?

In accordance with the employment Certainly, accountability companions sometimes:

  • Meet repeatedly.
  • Pay attention 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 exhibiting up for conferences and taking objective setting significantly.
  • Is reliable and can maintain confidences.
  • Evokes respect in order that you’ll not need to disappoint them.
  • Offers trustworthy suggestions with kindness.
  • Is constructive and inspiring and needs you to succeed.
  • Is curious and open-minded and interested by studying and rising.
  • Is versatile.

Sustaining the partnership


  • Present up, don’t cancel.
  • Settle for your companion’s suggestions.
  • Take the partnership significantly and check out laborious to fulfill the targets 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 targets.
  • Focus solely in your targets and writing.

The tip sheet gives additional ideas for structuring common conferences together 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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