Most writers I know use some sort of word count tracker. Whether that’s something built into their program, a spreadsheet, a physical planner notebook, or another work in progress system. But the more I talk to authors, the more I wonder if we shouldn’t be tracking some other things too. There’s a lot that goes into being a writer. Pulling stories from our minds and hearts, putting them into a format someone else can read, and then sharing them with people takes an emotional toll. Our lives also impact our writing, and things can sneak up on us without our even realizing it.

So I wonder, what else are you tracking when it comes to your writing?

We can talk about other numbers like website analytics or marketing efforts that you might want to track. But what happens when we go beyond the numbers? Sure, all of those numbers help. And I’d like to chat about them at some point. However, right now, in this moment, let’s forget about the numbers. Too many of you are pushing yourself trying to run some kind of rapid release program or trying to hit some kind of marketing numbers. My question to you is this: how are you feeling?

I don’t think any of us went into writing wanting to be stressed. We wanted to write, to share our stories with people, and hopefully invite others into our worlds. We don’t want to worry. We don’t want to freak out about a lack of sales or fear that no one will buy our books. Is that how you’re feeling?

To change things we have to know what they are. We have to understand them. And that’s why I’m inviting you to think about what you’re tracking. How are you feeling about your writing? Are things happening in your life that are affecting your writing? Find some way to record it, whether that’s a journal, an emoji, or a smile/frown face next to your daily word count. Find some way to keep track. Because once you know how things are going, you can work to resolve any problems.

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