How do you get a book done? You write. You write and you write and you write. Then, for some variety, you edit before you start writing again. You need to write every day and make that a habit. I have not made that a habit and because of that, my books remain unfinished and thus unread. Sure, I’ll write a day here and a day there, but I’m not very consistent. I wondered if perhaps there existed a tool that could help me measure how I was doing, and encourage me to do better, write more. Can I make it a little more like a game, setting a solid goal to hit? After much Googling I could find only the most basic of tools for what I was looking for. The absolute best example I found was the graph on the NaNoWriMo.org’s website, but that’s only available during November. I needed something that would give me those metrics and that nice graph of how I was doing all year long. Thankfully, I have a completely separate skill set, one that actually pays my real life bills, that of genius, web developer extraordinaire! Ok… maybe that’s way overstated, but I do make my living slinging code instead of words. I knew that if the toolset that I wanted didn’t exist that I could make it. And so I set forth creating WordKeeperAlpha.
I set to work and within a couple months had a working, if ugly, version that fulfilled the very basic functions that I’d envisioned. It’s live right now and free to use at http://wordkeeperalpha.com. I’ll warn you, it has problems and I’ve never been happy with it. But it worked and, damn it, I had my own writing to do. Still, there was more to do, so I’ve been steadily working on an entirely redesigned and recoded site that would be much closer to what I originally had in mind.
WKA 2.0 is well underway and if you would like a sneak peak of the early development you can take a look here. Below are some quick screen shots of of what I’m working on right now. 2.0 is still a ways off, as it will have many more of the features that I had in mind for 1.0. The graphing not only works, but is worlds better than my first attempt; thanks in no small part to Highcharts wonderful library. I’m currently still working on the main page, but it has more functionality than the entire previous version had. My next goals are the ‘Goals’ page and the ‘Project’ page, to be followed with a public page for users to show off their progress. Stay tuned here for updates.