You made up your mind to write. You set aside 30 minutes to write 200 words. You wrote. Then one day chaos broke out and you could not write. And by the time life started returning to normal a few days had lapsed. You decide to pick back up your writing. But you can’t remember what you last wrote and when you last wrote. You decide, well, that’s ok. I can get back to writing, which you do. Then a project at work gets priority and creeps into your home life and the new writing habit that you are trying to develop gets put on the back burner again.
Life will hit us hard several times in the year. We will miss writing some days. But if we don’t track our writing, those days could lead into months. Eventually our new goal gets diminished and becomes absent from our consciousness. We forget about the actual writing that was done.
New writers need some form of accountability to stick with their daily or weekly writing goals.
Find someone with similar goals and create a check-in schedule. Try to check-in at least once per week. Set a day and a specific time. Make it an appointment because writing is important to you. What can you talk about? Be specific on the writing you want to do the next time around or why you can’t write in the moment.
If you don’t have an accountability partner then I suggest tracking your writing each day with a spreadsheet or some other digital document such as Evernote.
I prefer a spreadsheet as I can make charts to look for long-term trends.
Track the date, the time period you wrote for, the number of words you aim to write for, the number of words wrote and the topic you wrote on. Include a column where you can sign either by initially the digital version or actually signing on a printed version. By signing you commit to write and to uphold the promise you made to yourself.
So, do yourself a favor and create a tracking document now. Decide whether you will store it online or in printed form close to your writing space. Then, go write.