Writing Craft – How To Track Your Daily Writing, With Help From Jerry Seinfeld


Tracking your writing habits is an important part of achieving your goal of finishing your novel.   Writing daily and tracking that progress is a great way to stay motivated and accomplish your novel.

‘Don’t Break the Chain’ is one of the more popular productivity methods in use today, and was seriously (not funnily) developed by none other than Jerry Seinfeld.  The technique is quite simple to understand and use.

Jerry Seinfeld

Seinfeld is a believer in the principle of daily actions that build habits, and he developed this method after tasking himself with writing at least one joke per day.  After writing a joke, he simply recorded an X on a giant wall calendar.  He repeated this process the next day.   He did this each day, thereby slowly building up a chain of X’s that he felt reluctant to break.

Now, ‘Don’t Break the Chain’ is one of the more popular productivity methods in use today. He famously said: “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”

© Ron Fehling

You can use this productivity method for any goal really – if you want to exercise or save money or write the next great American novel – just do those things every day, too.

The mindset here is that it’s encouraging (motivational) to set and surpass your previous streak chain records, and thereby increasing the practice of your craft.  You should become obsessed by the growing number of Xs on your calendars.

Once you break a chain, you are far more likely to avoid writing the following day, too.  So try to avoid missing more than one day on your “chain”.

Have you tried this method?  Let us know in the comments if it has worked for you!

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