Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Writing Accountability

I’ve been trying to keep better track of my writing. I started this last summer in the hope of optimizing my time. If I’m going to spend four hours on this I’d like them to be four hours well spent. First off came an insanely detailed spreadsheet a la Rachel Aarons 2k to 10k . It’s really helped her but ended up being a little too much for me. Maybe someday when I’m slightly more organized.

So that went out the window. Next came Victoria Schwab’s calendar trick.  Her concept in a nutshell is that she puts a sticker on a calendar for every 1000 words she wrote a day. Special events, like finishing a book, have special stickers. That was instantly useful considering I began it a few weeks before Nano when writing a strict amount of words was crucial. 1000 words seemed too low to me so in November I set the sticker threshold at 2250 words, since that was how much I needed to do per day and still have days off when I needed them.  Then I encountered a truly tragic problem. My stickers are simply too big to put multiple stickers on a day. My sticker collection was created by well meaning aunts and uncles back in my pre-pubescent years so they lean towards large and technicolored. Yes, I am the girl who carted around a sticker collection for 20+ years because someday I might want them. My first few months featured Lisa Frank animals. Luckily they’d all run out by the time I took a picture. 

So now I’m doing something a little different. As you can see from the picture below I set goals for each day. I usually do this a week in advance so I have a variety of days to work on. This is important because I like to skip between types of writing to stay fresh. And yes, I have become a little addicted to the idea of putting up stickers. I haven’t noticed a huge increase in productivity, sadly. Happily, I’m now less likely to beat myself up for what I haven’t accomplished since I’ve set specific goals for each day and a way of proving that I’ve accomplished them. I’m sure things will change and there will be a whole new blog post for it!

1 comment:

  1. Nice :) I don't keep track of how many words I write, but I do keep track of how many hours a week I spend doing writing vs. other (like social media). I use the free RescueTime app on my computer so it just does it for me and sends me a weekly email.