When I received my acceptance letter for this years London Marathon, the first thing I did was run out (no pun intended) ((Well, maybe just a little bit)) and buy a Nike Plus. It's a little unit that fits in your running shoes and syncs with your iPod. It records your run, and then when you connect it to your pc, it uploads a record of your run onto your personal space on the Nike Plus site. This allows you to track your improvement, pace, etc.
The cool thing is that it talks to you while you're jogging along. It gives regular distance updates, and then counts down the last 400 meters. The really cool thing is that if you do a personal best, at the end of the run a top sports person tells pops into your ears and congratulates you. So far, Lance Armstrong has mostly been visiting, and Paula Radcliffe stuck her head round the corner once.
The down side to getting little accolades from Lance and Paula is that when the training isn't going so well, they are very conspicuous by their absence. It's like they are whispering behind your back, saying "Look at Iain. What a slowcoach, I don't want to be associated with him." Fair weather friends - Who needs them?
All this monitoring stuff made me think. Wouldn't it be great if you could get a Nike Plus for Authors. You set a target of a thousand words, and it tells you how far you've got, counts down the last twenty words, and allows you to see a graphic representation of what your writing pace was, and when you've done a personal best, J.K. Rowling, or Stephen King pops up and congratulates you for doing so well.
Then again, maybe not. Let's face it, when I'm writing, it just pours out. It's more of a case of how much time I have available to write in rather than word count. And if I'm honest, the Revision Group that sprang up from the RevMo last November are far more motivating than getting platitudes from someone that I've never had any interaction with.