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Category Archives: Writing Advice & Tips

TenXer – Track Your Stats

So, I’ve been puttering around with tenXer for a little while now, and I’ve decided I like it. I use the iPhone app, cause it’s wicked convenient, but you can stick to their website if you don’t Apple. 
 
TenXer tracks the data you input, and the information it gets from the websites you sync it to. You can use it to set goals for yourself (It tracks “Time At Work” automatically) and either manually input your progress (“Words Written Today”) or use the location tracker to automatically update a stat (“Time Spent at Petting Zoo”). Then it displays all of this in a colorful chart. 
 
Why am I telling you this? Because I’m a gamer. And any gamer can tell you how important your stats are, but most writers can’t. Let’s use a lowbie mission- Nanowrimo. 
 
How many words do you need to win? 50,000. Which even the newbs can tell you means 1667 words per day. Pop that into your quest log, and now we need some stats. How many words can you write in a day? And how long does that ‘day’ need to be? What do you need to make sure you finish that day? How many fire arrows does it take to kill the Lich Liger, and who has the healing potions? 
 
You don’t know. (It’s twelve, and Sequestria, the half-elf Mage. Newb.) 
 
This is where tenXer comes in handy. (Not against the Lich Liger. You’re on your own there.) Because if you keep track of things like how many words you write a day, and how many Red Bulls you had to have, then when it’s crunch time you have a better idea of what your finisher is going to end up being. 
 
You can track any quantifiable information in tenXer. Anything with numbers. I like to track kills, and keep a death count. Once, I counted the number of times I used the word “muffin”. Why? Because I take dares to easily. The important part is, tenXer puts all the numbers together and figures out how close I am to the goal I set. 
 
Because numbers are awesome. 

  

Preparing for January

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A (Possibly overlarge) shot of my writing tracker board, currently set up for January.

The brightly colored tabs on the left are a reverse word tracker- I rip off and crush them when I defeat them. The middle bit is a standard calender with daily goals written in. The last one is a visual tracker with goals as hollow bars. Word count achieved is a line graph superimposed on top of the bar graph.

The empty space below them is where I put ‘Fast Facts’- Things like secondary character names, the name of that one Chinese place, whatever I may need on a moment’s notice but don’t want to have to dig back through to find. This zone usually turns into a Post-It shellacked monstrosity during long projects.

I confess to being a little in love with the data collection and assessment part of writing. And everything else, really. I’ll make a graph of anything.