January Progress

I actually meant to post this last week but a nasty bout with the stomach flu waylaid me. Here is a picture of cute cats to atone for the error:

Our cats doing what they do best.
Our cats doing what they do best.

Okay, that aside, here is another picture:

January Progress
January Progress (Click to Embiggen)

A couple of months ago, I read about V.E. Schwab’s method of tracking her writing. ¬†She explains it in depth in a video called ‘Best Writing Trick I Know‘ but I’ll sum it up quickly here: Go buy a simple calendar and a bunch of stickers (she uses stars, I use dots). Each star or dot represents X number of words. Hit or surpass the goal and earn a sticker. Different colored stars or dots can be used to track other things such as exercise, reading, etc.

For me, I set the goal to 250 words earns a green dot. The orange dots represents how much time I spend playing computer games (1 dot = 30 minutes), a known and major distraction for me.*

The whole purpose of the calendar is to be a visual reminder of your progress and to give you something to work toward.

And it works surprisingly well.¬†There is something about looking at the calendar and saying “I haven’t earned a sticker today” or “Another 150 words and I can slap down a third dot for the day! Booyah!” Guess it goes back to that childhood fascination with getting a gold star on your paper or whatnot. In fact, I’ll probably be switching to stars in March as the dots seem rather bland. In any case – I like it and it’s working. I wrote most days in January and earned 9,500 words.

This makes my editing buddy very happy:

"Write faster human. I need more paper balls to chase."
“Write faster human. I need more paper balls to chase.”

* The gaping holes in Wednesday and Saturday are due to those being my session days with ShackTac. Those are known times and I try budget for them on other days.