Posts Tagged ‘self-tracking’

Words, Words, Words

August 19, 2011

For anyone looking to make a habit out of writing, I’d recommend trying out – created by Buster Benson.

The journaling application and community encourages participants by tracking the number of days you’ve written, sending daily reminder emails and counting the number of words displayed on the page as you write.  Once the day’s writing is complete, supportive messages appear.  With each day that goes by and each word that gets entered, writers get closer to collecting coveted badges that represent different levels of success.

There’s also the opportunity to take on a monthly challenge to write 750words each and every day for thirty days in a row.  When you make your commitment to do so, you sign up with a promise to yourself along with your own self defined stakes.  Each month you complete the challenge, your name goes on the wall of awesome – or on the wall of shame, if you miss your goal.

Buster himself is an expressed self-tracker.  His personal website displays places he’s been in the past eight days, graphs of his emotional and internal life for the past week and the number of posts and updates he’s made since 1999.  And on his blog he writes about his propensity to track all his habits over the course of many months in order to find what kind of behavioral changes improve his life and happiness.

At 750words though, there’s no requirement for people to share their results, although you can make your accomplishments known on twitter.   For writers that do have a public profile – the only bits that are shared are the levels of achievement, common words or phrases used, and some of the statistical results of the writing.  The writing itself is not public in any way – the words are just for you.  There’s also no explicit communication between writers, at least not at the free level of participation.

If you give it a try – see if you can keep going until you’ve completed 30 days in a row and given yourself whatever you committed to when you made the promise to try the challenge.  And be sure you make it something you’ve really wanted for a long time.  The sense of accomplishment will feel real and you’ll get a bald eagle badge to boot.