I Control the Data

I am counting everything these days:

  • Submissions made to literary journals
  • Agents and publishers that may be a good fit for me
  • Agents I’ve submitted to
  • Twitter followers
  • Blog followers
  • Blog visitors
  • Books read since January
  • Hours written per week

To manage all of this tracking I use Excel, Duotrope, Submittable, Twitter, Hootsuite, WordPress, Goodreads, Rescuetime, and my head.

I track all of this because it makes me feel like I’m in control. It makes me feel as if I’m making progress. It makes me feel like I’m doing something to get closer to becoming a full-time writer and finding a home for my book.

Because the truth is, I can’t control anything outside of my tracking. I can’t make people follow me, accept or read my writing. All I can do is write, track and hope it will all come together.

If I don’t like what my data tells me I can adjust. I realize I sound a little obsessive, but it is still a bit of a revelation to see how much I rely on data. I never thought I was a left-brained person, but it sure looks like my right brain likes my left brain’s help.

I’ll have to find one of those quizzes that will tell me how left-brained versus right-brained I am. More data for my pile.

What makes you feel in control? What do you track?

This post was previously published on Catherine Lanser and is republished here with permission from the author.

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