Pull over on the road to hell

The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress. ~Philip Roth


A Writing Log: Every minute counts, so count every minute

Don’t know about you but I’m startled by how long the light lasts each day. To my mind it feels like mid-March not mid-May, and yet here I am…a third of the way through the year without a single major project completed.

Started, yes. Thought upon, you bet. Written on and written through? Ready to edit? Queued for the catalog?


Thing is, I’ve been busy. I can tell.

My wall calendar gets a literal gold star on the days I work at my desk and there’s a complete constellation up there. But any kind of work counts. Just coming to the desk counts, actually, but once I’m in the chair something always gets done.

But those are points for showing up, for digging in, not for specifically for writing. And there’s ever so much to write, right?

There’s the Pinch newsletter for Fridays, letters for Real Mail 3 weeks out of 4, and a stack of books outlined and started. Well-begun is half done, as the saying goes, but that kind of thinking is just setting cruise control on Roth’s road to hell.

With that in mind I created this single sheet for a single purpose—to log hours spent writing each (and every) day. And it’s totally okay if I don’t write every day. But I have to own the lapse with a big ol’ zero.

A Writer's Log: Your One-Year Worksheet

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD A Writer’s Log: Your One-Year Worksheet (free)

About the worksheet

  • The boxes are just big enough for a number…no room for excuses! ;-)
  • It’s a perpetual calendar. Good for any year and includes leap year (just in case)
  • Days running left-to-right build a progress bar for each month
  • An entire year on one sheet for clarity on how much (or little) time remains
  • Simple black-and-white layout saves on ink and works on any printer
  • Quotes about writing for a loving nudge. Or a kick in the ass. Whichever works.

A worthy experiment

Poke The Box by Seth Godin on Amazon

Get Poke The Box by Seth Godin on Amazon

As Seth Godin says in his mega-nudge of a manifesto, Poke The Box, “This might not work”. But my calendar’s gold stars are working a charm to keep me motivated and encouraged, so this is a worthy experiment.

You’re welcome to download A Writer’s Log if you’d like to give it a try (it’s free). If logging hours seems too granular, remember this is just an exercise in celebrating presence, owning absence, and honoring progress. Dots or smilies or stars or simply coloring in the box will do the trick.


image source: flickr.com/lifeontheedge