Why Using a Writing Tracker is a Good Idea
Some writers use a simple habit tracker. Others set up a spreadsheet to track their word count or use Writing Analytics to do it for them.
Whether you need some extra accountability or motivation to get your words done, tracking your writing is a great way to get it. In this post, we'll take a look at why tracking your writing works and how it can help you to hit your writing goals.
The Observer Effect
Those who tried tracking their time or calories will agree: the mere act of recording your behaviour changes it for the better. You're much less likely to break your commitment when there will be a permanent record of you breaking it.
Procrastination is often an attempt to hide from the difficult work that we have to do. Tracking how many words you write and time spent writing every day brings your attention to the habit.
We've designed Writing Analytics to do just that. It tracks both writing and revision to help you stay motivated from the first draft to the last.
For most people, writing a book is a self-motivated endeavour. You don't have a boss to keep you accountable. You have to do it yourself.
A good writing tracker will show you your progress over time. If you start falling behind, you will see that and be able to make changes to your routine instead of letting your writing project fade quietly out of sight.
With Writing Analytics, you'll have access to your dashboard from any device anywhere. Your stats won't end up buried in a spreadsheet on your hard drive that you'll never check.
You can also share your dashboard with a friend or writing group. They will be able to see your stats and keep you accountable when you fall behind.
Get a Sense of How Fast You Write
Keeping track of words written will give you an idea of your overall output. To figure out how fast you write, you'll have to track time as well.
Knowing that will help you plan new projects and estimate deadlines with more confidence. Writing a book takes months and years. Having the right expectations going in is key to avoid disappointment and prevent burnout.
Writing Analytics tracks time spent automatically down to the second. It doesn't matter whether you sit down every morning and write until you hit your goal or stagger your writing sessions throughout the day.
Life gets busy. All sorts of unexpected things come up all the time. You might have periods of high activity followed by months where you'll be struggling to get anything down on the page. Our creativity ebbs and flows – that's natural.
When experiencing a low, it's easy to start beating yourself up for not writing enough. You may feel like you'll never going to finish.
During such times, having a paper trail of your past successes and how many words you were able to write is invaluable. You were able to write before and you will be able to write again.
Writing Analytics allows you to view your stats for any period in the past and give you the reassurance you need to persevere.
Avoid Long Slumps
Hardly any writing project goes exactly as planned. All sorts of issues come up. From plot holes to characters gone missing. It can be overwhelming to see how much work there's still to be done.
The next thing you know, weeks and months go by and you haven't written a word. The longer you're away from your draft, the more likely it is that you will never come back.
A good writing tracker will remind you to keep going. To finish what you've started. There's nothing wrong with deciding to abandon a project. However, this should happen consciously, not by getting stuck and pretending like it didn't happen.
Writing Analytics sends a weekly writing report to your inbox with your stats to make sure you won't give up on your commitments when things get difficult.
Writing is hard. A writing tracker won't make it easy. But it will give you the tools that you need to keep going. To persevere through the inevitable dips in productivity and motivation. To show up day after day and get your words done.
Writing Analytics comes with a writing tracker built-in. Our analytics engine tracks words added and deleted, time spent and much more while you write so you don't have to worry about it. Sign up for a free trial today.