I keep a kind of ‘tracker’ on which I record my daily activities as they relate not only to all things writing-related but a little to well-being too. The tracker is broadly split into: my own writing projects, my publication work (through Coverstory books), sundry writing activities – such as poetry groups, retreats etc. – my social media activities, and a nod to exercising (cycling, walking or running). Each day I note where I have spent my time and can instantly see how ‘productive’ each day has been.
Simple to maintain, it is a log I have been keeping for seventeen months, day-in, day-out.
The tracker serves to keep me ‘honest’ and focussed. It also can provide the odd boost to my self-esteem when, after a particularly productive 24-hours, I can say – and demonstrate – “that was a good day”.
One thing I’ve learned over the months is that there are some days I just fall short of the mark, when I don’t meet my targets, where I don’t do enough – like on the 8th and 9th of January. And you know what, that’s just fine because soon enough there will be a busy day, a good day, a hugely productive day.
So I’ve learned not to beat myself up about a slack day, but rather to look forward to the next great one. I suspect there’s more damage to be had in berating yourself unnecessarily than there is for just letting the day go…