When You Can Stop Tracking Your Writing Goals

Jason Lam
2 min readJun 12, 2021
Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

When you just do it daily.

You know whether you wrote today or you didn’t because the process to get to publishing is so palpable in emotion and effort that you won’t forget that you did it, that you put in the work for the day.

But you’ll certainly know if you didn’t do it too. That when the moment arrived to decide whether or not you would show up today — tiredness aside, regardless of how you felt about the endeavor in that moment — you let it pass by you. Like a fish slipping through your fingers.

Today was one of those days where I didn’t want to. What preceded writing this essay is that I’m packing to prepare for a move, a chore that took the past 3.5 hours to complete. It was convenient, easy, and — most seductive of all — “reasonable” to not write tonight. Even when my girlfriend looked at me and asked, “Is there anything left you need to do before you go to bed?” I looked back at her and said, “Publish an essay.”

I’ve stopped tracking how many essays I’ve published because that number won’t write the essay that I need to write today. The only thing I should be tracking is how many words are left in my daily writing quota and whether or not one essay was published for the day.

You should go about writing or whichever craft you are pursuing with the diligence to shift from deciding whether or not you will write today to what you will write about.

What change do you seek to create today?