How to Set Small Writing Goals Every Day With Write Track
Because setting small writing goals keeps you motivated to achieve bigger ones.
In order to improve at writing, you have to write every day. That’s what everyone who has ever written has found out. But it can be hard to write consistently when life gets in the way. That’s why it’s helpful to make it challenging for yourself. Not impossible, just challenging.
There are different ways to track your writing progress. You can write your words per day down on a piece of paper, log them in a spreadsheet, or use a website like Beeminder to motivate yourself to reach your writing goal.
What if you want to start with a short-term challenge? Recently I found a website that allows you to create challenges of any length and track your progress with them. It’s called Write Track, and I’m going to discuss it in this post.
What is Write Track?
Write Track is a website that allows you to create writing challenges of any length and track them using their website.
How much does it cost?
It’s free to use. You just have to create an account.
How do you use it?
Once you’ve created an account, log in and create a challenge by clicking the “Create New Challenge” button in the upper right corner of the screen. Name the challenge, select a target for the number of words you want to write in that time, and select start and end dates.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll see your challenge word count goals broken down by day on a calendar. Every day that you write is assigned a weight. The default weight set is 100. However, you can change the weights based on how much you think you’ll be able to write each day.
For example, if you know you can’t write as much on certain days, you’d enter a lower weight for those days. I use 50 for the days I know I’ll write less, and 100 for the days I know I’ll write more.
Once you’ve set up your challenge and figured out the weights, return to the site every day and update it. If you write more on a day than you think you will, the word counts for the remaining days will readjust. If you miss a day, the words you should have written on that day will be spread out over the rest of the days in the challenge.
Examples of how you might use Write Track
Let’s say you want to challenge yourself to write 10,000 words in a month. You know you can’t write as much on certain days though because you have other commitments. You might set up your challenge like this:
The green days in the first calendar represent days I hit my word count goal. The ones in gray are days I haven’t completed yet. To change the weights for different days, click on the day and click in the box to change the weight:
You can set the weight as low or as high as you want. You can even set it to zero if you know you won’t be writing on a certain day, and it will set your goal for that day to zero.
Who created Write Track?
David S. Gale, the 2009 NaNoWriMo winner.
What if you write way more one day than you think you will?
Your targets for the remaining days will drop, so you won’t have to write as much.
What if you don’t hit your writing goal for the day?
The words you didn’t write will be added to the next day.
Does WriteTrack provide any accountability tools?
Yes, they have groups you can join to connect with others for accountability.
Can you create challenges that start in the future?
Yes, but you can’t see them or change the weights on different days until they start.
Can I see a visual representation of my progress?
Yes, if you’re a statistics person, you can see a horizontal bar graph showing your progress. In the graph below, the top bar shows my total target, the middle one shows my projected progress, and the bottom one shows my actual progress:
Advantages of Write Track
- It automatically creates your word count goals for each day and adjusts them for you so you don’t have to. This is a great function to have because trackers like NanoWriMo’s tracker only show you how many words you’re behind.
- You can join accountability groups to stay motivated to write.
- You can create challenges of any length. That means you could create a challenge for a long-term goal such as NaNoWriMo, or a shorter-term goal to reach a certain word count in a certain length of time for a freelance writing client.
- There’s no way to automatically track your word counts from Google Docs and other writing websites.
- Write Track doesn’t send out any emails telling you what your word count target is for each day.
How do I sign up?
Go to writetrack.davidsgale.com and click “Register” to get started.
Why should I sign up?
If you have a hard time motivating yourself to reach your word count goals, seeing your word count targets for every day can help you stay motivated to write every day.
If you’re looking for an easy way to track your progress to different writing goals, Write Track is a great website to use. It’s free, it automatically updates your word count goals for each day, and it provides a few great ways to stay accountable so you can reach your writing goals. If you’re trying to develop a writing goal, or motivate yourself to make progress on a certain project, I highly recommend it.
Please note, I am not an affiliate of Write Track and am not receiving any kind of compensation to post this review.