Celebrate your progress, not just your completions!

When you made your first Pacemaker writing plan you probably set a pretty big goal. Let’s say that goal was 200 pages in 30 days, no breaks. At the time you set this goal, you were probably feeling super inspired and focused, really eager to get the job done. But life happened.

Life. Happened.

When you weren’t tired, you were stressed out. And on the days when you actually managed to get enough rest- writer’s block! Of course, there were also days when you did some serious damage, maybe you even went over your page count for the day!

But now you’re at the end of the 30 days and you’re only at 100 pages. What now?

YOU CELEBRATE!

30 days ago you had nothing! And now you have 100 pages! That’s 0-100 REAL QUICK and it’s important that you not only acknowledge that, but celebrate yourself for that!

As a Creative, you have an incredibly heavy burden to bear- the weight of the project you’re working on, the limited time you have to work on it, the desire to see the project through to completion and to see it become a success. The pressure is ever increasing and so is the temptation to just throw in the towel.  

This, of course, is on top of everyday life- day jobs, family, friends, and your typical average everyday global pandemic. You’ve got a lot going on, but you’ve managed to write the pages you’ve written on top of a very full plate. You deserve to celebrate! TREAT YOSELF!

We can so easily become distracted by all the things we haven’t done that we subconsciously [or consciously] ignore or downplay the things we have accomplished, creating a perceived deficit in our list of achievements. We forget that progress itself is an achievement. This is why it’s so important to intentionally take time out to celebrate progress- just as hard, just as purposefully, just as enthusiastically, as completed goals! It keeps us encouraged. It boosts our morale. And if we’ve fallen off the bandwagon, celebration can be the jolt that helps us get right back on!

At Pacemaker we’re all about celebrating progress towards the bigger goal. So, whether that be 1 page or 100 – Congratulations! Keep up the good work! As always, we’re here for you if you need to adjust your plan – judgement free, and we’ll be back again to celebrate your next progress update with you!

Pacemaker through your Eyes!

Our users reinvent Pacemaker every. single. day! Thanks to you, Pacemaker is constantly under construction, and we love that!

cranes-4074519_1280

Throughout the years, one of our greatest pleasures has been observing the creative ways you all use the Pacemaker tool, which is to say, using the tool in ways we never imagined! Many of you have actually worked out creative hacks and workarounds to get the tool to perform just so, while others have written in to us with various feature requests, many of which we have implemented, and all of which have enriched the tool and improved the Pacemaker experience for all our users!

Building Pacemaker really is a partnership!

In fact, our users create so much amazing content (reviews/tips/hacks/walkthroughs etc.) that we’re launching a campaign to show the world Pacemaker through your eyes! Not only is this a great way to display different perspectives on Pacemaker, but it’s one significant way we can highlight our Pacemaker Evangelists- our users who share Pacemaker with others.

Sooo, have you ever written a blog post or newsletter about Pacemaker, or spoken about Pacemaker in a podcast or interview, etc?  Maybe you’ve published your own review/walkthrough of Pacemaker on Youtube? We want to know how you use Pacemaker! Do you have a secret hack that you use to tweak the tool to better suit your needs? Or do you use Pacemaker to track something out of the ordinary?

E-mail us (at pacemaker.project@gmail.com), or tweet to us @Pacemakr and share a link to your Pacemaker related content, along with a little blurb about yourself, and a link to your home on the internet! Submissions will be shared  on Facebook and Twitter and featured on our revamped ‘Praise for Pacemaker’ page which will go live on 15th October 2020!

As always, thanks for working with us to build a better Pacemaker!

Logging in 101

Has this ever happened to you:

You head over to the Pacemaker website, eager to see what your writing day/week looks like, or excited to add your latest progress, you try to log in and you get hit with this annoying little guy:

What a headache! Inside scoop: we know because it’s happened to us (D’oh!)

If this ever happens to you, don’t panic! It’s a fairly common issue that some of our users experience, but the good news is that it’s a really easy fix!

Most times users report this error, it’s because they are attempting to log in using their e-mail address as their username, or, they are entering their username in the wrong case.

Simply logging in using the username you registered with, and ensuring all the characters are in their proper cases, will fix that right away! If you can’t remember your username, no problem, just shoot us an e-mail requesting it, and we’ll get it to you as quickly as possible.

Trying these steps before contacting us could save you a lot of time and get you back to logging that progress before you know it!

The Pacemaker Team is always looking for ways to improve your Pacemaker experience, so we’re currently discussing ways to make the log in process more seamless, for example, by automating username retrievals and making usernames case insensitive. Stay tuned!

Let’s Talk About the Writer’s Games- Group challenge!

As Round 1 of the Writer’s Games- the Individual Portion, simmers to a close tonight, the flames of friendly competition are already being fanned for Round 2- the Group Portion!

In case you blinked and missed it, over the past 7 weeks, hundreds of individual participants have written 7 short stories in 72 hrs as part of the Writer’s Games! If you can believe it, they each received personalized feedback from multiple judges, on each of their 7 short stories! Winning entries will be featured in the Writer’s Games anthology, to be published and sold later this year!

In this round, however, participants will work in Groups to conceive an idea for the weekly prompt, then plan, write, and edit their entry. An elected Team Leader will submit the entry on behalf of the team, and then the judging begins. Just as with the Individual portion, each Group will get personalized feedback on each entry from multiple judges, and the winning Team’s entry will be published in the Writer’s Workout Anthology later this year!

I know what you’re thinking, “I really want to join but I don’t have a group of my own!”. No Team? No problem! Here are three ways you can get on board:

  • Join an open team
  • Create your own team (of 7-12 members)
  • Leave it up to chance by selecting the “I NEED a team!” option. Balanced groups are carefully curated by the Writer’s Workout team based on participants’ strengths/weaknesses.  (Insider scoop: the two-time reigning Group champs, The Red Herrings, were one of these chance teams!)
Although Groups can have as many as 12 members, there is absolutely no room for spectators! Each team member is expected to pull his/her weight to produce consistent, on-theme submissions which read with one voice!
Here’s some important information to keep in mind:

The Who: The Writer’s Workout

The What: The Writer’s Games 2017- Team Portion

The When: Group Games Registration begins: July 1

Group Games begin: August 4

Anthology published: exact date tbd Fall/Winter 2017!

The How: Visit the Website or Follow the Writer’s Workout and the Writer’s Games on Twitter. Their Facebook page is very active, and the admin are incredibly responsive!

Watch this space to register from July 1! Who’s in?!

You are not a failure! You might be setting unrealistic writing goals though.

Does this sound like you:

A. “… I tend to push myself a lot to write X amount until I’m a wreck if I don’t reach it. I try to plan but my plans fall apart…. I’m so afraid of missing out that I’ve been taking on more than I can reasonably handle for someone who is writing a full-time book load on a part-time basis.” Santino Hassell

Or how about:

B. “For several weeks I wanted to write 1k a day. I’m a fast writer when it comes to typing speed but quickly realized that I’m not a fast storyteller. Day after day I struggled [to] meet this arbitrary goal I set myself and every time I came up short. I felt unmotivated to keep going. Who wants to keep setting themselves up for failure? I have grad school to contend with, a book review blog, a job, and writing. Those things don’t always fit neatly together and I found that goals can really help or really…not.” Austine Decker

Yea… guilty!

Don’t we all do this though? We overestimate either the amount of time we have available to write OR, we greatly inflate the amount of words we are able to write at any given time. Click To Tweet Then, when we inevitably fail to hit our inflated, unrealistic targets, we lose our confidence and motivation, even start doubting our talent, and whoosh, there go our goals, out the window! 

But what if it were not a question of whether or not you have the talent or interest, or whether or not you are disciplined enough to be productive in your field? And what if the real reason you are not reaching your writing goals is totally within your control to fix?

One of the more frequent pieces of feedback we get from our users, is that Pacemaker helps them set realistic goals. By doing so, they more effectively manage anxiety around impending deadlines and are able to stave off the frustration which can cripple the entire writing process. Our users get to see their project in many different ways (starting out strong and tapering off towards the end, peaking in the middle of their project, writing steadily throughout and more!), then they choose the one which best matches their writing style and availability! In other words, having a realistic and custom Pacemaker Plan motivates our users and helps keep them accountable, which results in them hitting those goals! We believe Pacemaker can do this for you as well!

And we don’t just stop at helping you set realistic goals. We help you adjust to surprise productivity thieves which, let’s be honest, will pop up from time to time! Because Pacemaker helps you create custom writing plans around your real schedule, you get to factor in  lost time so you get a clearer picture of how much real time you actually have to dedicate to your project. So when these things pop up- miss a day here, miss a week there- with a few clicks you can see exactly how much work and time you have left, and conceptualize different ways of getting to the finish line!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The big take-away here- be honest with yourself about your time and availability. And there’s no need to lie to Pacemaker either, Pacemaker is your friend! If you know that you have work from 9-5, 5 days a week, with 2 hours in the gym on Monday evenings (more power to ya!), and with Saturdays just off the table for whatever reason, you know that realistically you may not be up for having a writing session those days, even though there may be time left on the clock.

Use Pacemaker to create a plan, like we’ve done below,  where you ‘Write Less’ or not at all on Mondays and Saturdays. Then it will show you clearly how that change affects the spread of the word count over the remaining time period. Don’t click Save Plan until you find a permutation that works for you! Think to yourself, “Is this really realistic for me, or does the graph just look pretty?“. Then be kind to yourself- test it out and see if it works for you. If it doesn’t, no problem, tweak it until it does!

A valuable piece of fitness advice I heard years ago in response to the question, “What’s the best exercise a person can do?”, was, “The best exercise a person can do is the one they will do!” I think we can say the same for writing plans. The best one out there for you, is the one that you will actually do. Give it a try and see for yourself. Create your realistic Pacemaker Plan today!

And, oh!  Santino Hassell was able to turn A above into: “Pacemaker… WELL. This program is incredible. I don’t even know how to describe it. …I’ve been using Pacemaker since the beginning of December, and I’ve managed to hit every goal, pace myself without wanting to rip my hair out, and plan a calendar for future projects.”

As for Austine Decker, read her post to learn how she uses Pacemaker to help her set goals and stay on track!

We want to hear and publish your Pacemaker story too! So go on, create your personal Pacemaker Plan!