Lesson 7

Why tracking makes your writing rock

Susan Sontag Quote - A writer must train like an athlete tracking makes your writing rock

If you want to write more regularly, you need to take on some new habits and maybe ditch an old one.

This is where you can learn from behavior change scientists because they’ve shown that tracking your behavior and logging your progress on a daily basis is an excellent way to help you stay on track.

Tracking your behavior works because it means that you can look back and see patterns. It also helps you know when the good and bad times are so you can organize your time more effectively — and feel motivated when you’ve achieved writing ‘streaks.'

Want to track? Try this

How you track your writing is up to you. You can keep it old school and use a paper calendar on the wall, use a diary, use an online calendar or even online tools like ours. Whatever works for you – the key thing is to do and stick with it. Here’s how:

  • If you’re not used to tracking then self-monitoring your writing might feel a bit weird. The first step is to accept that you are going to track and stick to it for a short period initially – like over the course of one week.
  • Now, set a goal – we’ve talked about the importance of goal setting on day five – and make sure that it’s not too easy or too difficult to achieve in the time you have.
  • Then, just track! However, you’re choosing to log your progress just make a note of how frequently you are writing for and if you can, what you’ve achieved. This doesn’t need to be a word count – it can be the length of time spent writing or what you’ve written.
  • Every now and again, look back at your writing progress and assess how you’re doing, you might be surprised at some of the patterns that emerge.
  • It’s important to tweak your goals as you go along – remember that nothing is set in stone. Evaluate, update and revise your goals as you progress. This isn’t about giving yourself an easy ride, but experimenting to find out what works.

We know that tracking your writing is super-useful in giving you the motivation to continue. Seeing how those days add up to weeks and those weeks add up to months is vital to keep you going – so go ahead and try it!

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