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:
Okay, that aside, here is another picture:
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:
* 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.