I’ve had a month of furious writing, which is evidenced in the image above. On my pinboard, I keep pictures of my protagonists and some pretty things to inspire me and–the point of today’s post–my monitoring system.
I keep calendars to track my reading and writing progress and to hone my focus. It’s my own analogue accountability system. I enter contest deadlines, book launches, literary events, and writing courses too.
June is the bottom calendar (under Steggy, my stegosaurus mascot). Each black thumbtack represents work on my WIP. The yellow tacks are blog posts on Spilling Ink and the orange ones are posts on e-Quipped. Thumbtacks are my old fashioned, in-the-moment, strangely satisfying tracking method.
At the end of the month, I go digital. Using the GoodReader app, I enter the data into a PDF of the calendar and I print a copy. That’s what you see in the top left and centre calendars. I use this to monitor the kind of reading and writing I’m doing to make sure it’s supporting my goals.
For example, May was a great blogging month with 15 posts! On the other hand, my reading was not so great–way down from an average of 5.5 books to one. And the work on my WIP was dismal. When I’d collated the data, I realised I had to scale back the blogging because, as fun as it is, it’s not getting my book done!
This month I did a better job of balancing my reading and writing. 4.5 books read, 5 Spilling Ink posts, 3 e-Quipped posts, and 20 productive days of work on my WIP!
I think I’ll reward myself with some stationery shopping. I might need to source some more thumbtacks!