Monday, August 17, 2015

Shakespeare Had a FitBit

Okay not really, but Shakespeare and FitBits are what I want to talk about today so yay?

Anyway. New FitBit user here, and of course its got me thinking about writing. I regret not having one of these beauties earlier, because it makes daily intake and output so precise and clear and understandable, and you can see it all in one click. I'm a writer rather than a mathematician for many, many reasons, but its true that you can't argue with numbers.

So why has this got me thinking about writing? Maybe being so precise and...well, mathematical about our writing could do us some good. Maybe 1000 words is your daily 10,000 steps. I know that can put a lot of pressure on people, but think of it this way. Even if you NEVER reach 1000 words, keeping precise track of what you do get to can show you patterns of 150 word days versus 650 word days, and that can be a very useful thing to know. And then on days when you do reach that 1000, its time to celebrate! (Pass the ice cream, please).

That's output. What about input? FitBit has a spot where you can track intake on things like water. It tells you how much you need, and then you log your water until you reach it. Super helpful. What if we did that for ourselves with writing? And what would writerly intake be? Reading of course. Set yourself a daily goal, and it doesn't have to be ginormous. Two poems a day. A chapter a day. A page a day. Whatever it is, keeping such precise goals and records can help us gauge how our days are going, and where we might using up time that could be better spent.

Here's my input and output goals, just to give you an idea.

-1000 words.
-1 submission. (Includes short story subs, agent queries, article pitches, etc. At least one per day).
-Social media. (Nothing major. Just a tweet here and a Facebook update there, and sometimes an Instagram.)

-1 poem per day.
-1 novel chapter per day.
-A writing lecture/video/podcast 3 times per week. (Writing Excuses podcast and National Book Festival speeches are some favorites.

Anyway, do whatever works for you. But keeping track can be super helpful.

What does all this have to do with Shakespeare, you ask? Not much, really, I just wanted to show you this amazing, hilarious, catchy video. You'll seriously be glad you watched it:

Sarah Allen

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  1. Cool you got a FitBit.
    I like the idea of input and output for writing. I like definite goals as well.

  2. I don't always make my 10 000 steps a day. But it's nice to keep track. I used to keep track of my writing and the amount of words I wrote a day. But I stopped when I started feeling depressed about the few days I didn't make my word counts. But keeping track of one's word count and progress is beneficial.


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