|Photo credit: MervC on Flickr|
confidently) when I know where I’m going, and I keep a daily and weekly writing goal that I work hard to try to meet.
That being said, it’s likely little surprise to hear that I often keep track of my word count progress.
I’ll admit that it’s a practice I fell out of after using it for a couple WIPs, but after participating in NaNoWriMo last year, I remembered why I’d starting keeping track in the first place—and it wasn’t just to make the analytical side of me happy.
You see, it’s easy to forget what you’ve accomplished when you’re deep in the trenches of a first draft. The elusive words of “The End” seem impossibly far away, and the day after day slog can quickly become exhausting.
Keeping track of your progress, then, serves two purposes:
- It shows you just how much you’ve written. Seeing your progress on paper can be really encouraging when you’re halfway through your WIP and it feels like reaching the end will be impossible. It can serve as a great reminder of how a little each day can add up to something fantastic, and for me, at least, it’s proven to be a great motivator.
- Progress is progress. Writing down your progress every day serves a second purpose too—it encourages you to make daily progress. Even if you only write a few hundred words that day, the numbers prove that even small progress is progress.
During NaNoWriMo you get this really awesome chart thingie that shows your progress on an axis like this, that I completely love. As of yet, I haven’t found something to replicate that (except for doing it by hand in Excel), but you can try a widget like the one below to keep track of your total progress.
From Language is a Virus:
42145 / 75000 words. 56% done!
(NOTE: If anyone knows where to find a NaNoWriMo-like replication of the progress chart, you will make me a very happy writer).
In addition to little bar graphs like the one above, spreadsheets are a fantastic way to not only keep track of your total word progress, but of your daily and weekly progress as well, which I highly recommend. But all in all, the important thing is to just keep track.
Do you record your daily or weekly word count progress? Why or why not?
Why one writer believes it's important to keep track of your daily word count progress. (Click to tweet)
Do you record your daily word count progress while writing? Here's why you should. (Click to tweet)