‘X’ marks the spot

I’m not sure if anyone’s noticed, but this blog has been super regular for the last three months. After nearly three and a half years of very sporadic updating, I’ve posted an update roughly every other day for almost 100 days.

It’s almost shocking how regular I’ve become. And the way it happened was really simple. I just decided to treat blogging like writing. As you know, I’m very anal about logging my writing. I have daily wordcounts going back eight years, to the summer after my senior year in high school. It was one of the first things I started doing after I finally became serious about writing. Somehow, I knew intuitively that tracking my writing was the first step to becoming serious (well, the second step–the first step was submitting my stories).

But it took me a really long time before I had the brainstorm that allowed me to apply that lesson to my blogging. It was such a simple change, too. I just put a little column in my spreadsheet right next to my daily word-count. And in that column, I put an “X” if I’ve written a post that day. That’s all. I just started tracking whether or not I’d actually posted.

Since then, I’ve been cranking out three posts every single week, for fourteen weeks. It’s not easy. Sometimes (like today), I have to search for something to say. But it’s not that hard, either. Before, I used to lament the fact that my blog would lie fallow for months at a time, but I always found it really hard to actually do something about that. But the problem wasn’t laziness, it was just a lack of accountability. It’s really hard to do something when there’s no visible measure of progress.

I wish everything on my to-do list was susceptible to this kind of tracking. Maybe I should start giving myself an ‘X’ for haircuts and laundry…

Actually, that would probably work!