When I started writing the sequel to ONE KNIGHT ONLY, I decided to track my daily progress. I write during my lunch hour and I always have my iPhone handy. So I use the Notes app to record my progress. You can see it here. I type in the date and then the word count from X to X.
For example, you see here on 12/12, I went from 2,525 to 4,105. That was a good day. 🙂
And then you see on 1/9, I went from 26,042 to 26,401. That was NOT a good day.
In the month of December, I started thinking about the end of the book, so I skipped ahead. The lower numbers are the last 10,000 words of the book (that I’ve written so far). I still have some loose ends to wrap up for the ending, but it’s still all in my head. I didn’t want to write the big battle scene yet, so I just made some notes and then put it aside.
In January, I went back to my draft and started writing linearly again. You can see the progress by the bigger numbers that are 22k, plus. I got lazy and just started typing in what my word count was when I ended for that writing session. My thinking was that I can look up to the previous day and see where I ended, so I really don’t need it.
This really helps me see what my progress is daily. Plus, to hold myself accountable, I always send a text to my husband to tell him what I managed to write that day. 🙂 For the week of January 9, I wrote just over 5400 words, so I felt like I made some tremedous progress last week and I wasn’t as discourage as I usually feel about writing at the end of the week. Though, as you can see, I wrote every single day.
Every writer has their own way to track their writing progress. I think you need to find what works for you and stick with it. It’s taken me a long time to figure it out. I feel like I’ve tried everything. I’ve joined groups that post daily word counts, but I felt like it did nothing but discourage me when I saw them posting the big numbers (5K and up) while I was struggling to hit 1,000 words a day. And all I would do is beat myself up over it when it was by no fault of my own. They are full time writers; I am not. I have to remind myself that I have a day job, a son, a husband and household duties that all need my attention. So my lunch hour has been golden for me to find time to write. It’s the perfect solution. I set my daily goal and stick with it. And if I don’t make it, then I know I have words to make up on the other days.
Now, if I can just find the time to write during the weekend… 😉 Hey, I’m working on it. These new habits are all part of my new 2012 goals.
How do you track your writing progress?