Friday, 2 October 2015

Accountability is the key to keeping habits

I love stats and graphs. I can see it, you know?
I count my steps. I count my calories. I have a Garmin vivofit bracelet and it syncs with a free phone/Chrome app called ‘my fitness pal’. So I think twice about eating that second potato if I have to log it for the day.
Steve “S.J.” Scott is always arguing that accountability is the key to keeping any new habits. He’s the habit guru, he should know. I am starting to get this, myself… call me slow.

But recently I totally let my word count spreadsheet go.
I had word counts for Goodreads reviews, blog posts, fanfic, original fic and major works. And I totaled it up every day.
I write in dribs and drabs all over the place: scraps in Google Drive, plots in spreadsheets, scribbled paragraphs in notebooks that often don’t get typed up, I have Word docs, Scrivener projects and notes for story ideas in every note-keeping program. I have short stories kept in different folders; sorted by working on it, finished, finished and posted, and finally possible to extend.
And I have lost track of what I have counted and what I haven’t.
Part of it is me. My writing system is messy and therefore not easy to track. And my Google script broke (that counted words written and emailed it to me) and I’m not clever enough to fix it. I am determined to work out how, though. Plus, I updated to windows 10 and my PC is restarting more frequently and when it does I lose my count for the scrivener words for the day. Grrr.
And these are all excuses.
But without seeing that figure, my productivity dropped. Maybe it did maybe it didn’t - but I could no longer SEE it. And that made me disheartened.
I want to finish a major project and send it off to a beta before November because I want to work on something else for nanowrimo.
In my never ending search I found another app called Writeometer. Again, it’s free. And it is a combination of word count, graphs and the pomodoro time technique - working for 25 minute intervals with 5 minute breaks - and you earn treats that you can set yourself. All customizable.
And it beeps at me. Hey, AM. You haven’t written today. You want to do that now? After your countdown session you enter in the number of words you got done. You can have more than one project. It also has a built in dictionary and thesaurus.
And it’s helping.
Maybe it’ll help you, too.

Steve Scott

My fitness pal



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