Talk Back: Do you track your writing progress

On my Kindle: A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin

Talk Back – Tell us how you write!


Do you track your writing progress? Experts tend to say that to keep a habit it helps to track it. Do you agree? Or is this obsessiveness getting in the way of your creativity?

I can be quite an obsessive person when I tackle projects and yes I tend to track things. Perhaps too much, which tends to make me worry more about the tracking then the actual project. But some tracking has its use.

I’ve done various form of tracking. I have used a wall calendar to write down my word counts each writing day. That was nice to look at the wall and see how much I was doing each month (and that blank spot guilted me into writing every day).

I also used a running list of word counts with one column for the daily words and the other a cumulative sum of words, which was really motivating.

Now my focus is much more on making sure I spend an hour a day – 6 days a week – on my manuscript so I’ve again changed my tracking method.

My trusty writing tracking bible!

I now have a huge log book that is really pretty and will last me for years. I log each writing session with the date, the type of work I’m doing (writing, editing, polishing) and the time spent on that session.

So far so good. It helps!

How about you? If you track your progress, how do you do it? What works and what haven’t worked? And if you don’t, do you find it easier to just focus on the work?

Please let us know. It’s so nice to hear from you all!

Much love,
Marie-Claude xoxox

Location:Seattle

9 Responses to Talk Back: Do you track your writing progress

  1. I like the idea of a log with the time spent on all forms of writing. When tax time rolls around this type of record will be helpful again. Thanks for sharing and inspiring all of us.

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  2. Catherine you are welcome. I love the idea that this could be used for tax purpose.

    Right now I’m planning to use this as a way to plan my writing year by seeing exactly how much time each part of writing a book takes me.

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  3. jbrayweber says:

    Great idea, MC. Your current method would work for me. These days, I write long-hand and it may be some time before I get my words into the computer. So I often have no idea how many words I’ve written. Since I’m a bit obsessive, I could see myself doing this.

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  4. Jen I didn’t know you were obsessive lol
    I write by hand too and I calculated for myself the a notebook page is about 150 words. So that’s how I do my word count. I’m always a little under, which is good for me.

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  5. I only track my word count when I go to close my document and glance down at the numbers at the bottom. I’ve tried tracking but I always end up spending more time on tracking than writing, lol! I find I get more done by letting it flow.

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  6. I haven’t needed to so far, but I’m struggling with my WIP.

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  7. I actually just started doing consistent tracking back at the end of January. My official goal is to write 2,000 words a day, every day. Most days lately I manage it.

    I write in 15-25 minute sprints. My most productive seems to be 20 minutes, averaging between 1000 & 1400 per sprint. Using Write or Die is awesome, especially in Kamikaze mode ’cause I know if I stop for more than a couple of seconds, the program starts eating my nicely written words.

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  8. I started to, but when life got hectic I ended up feeling more stressed seeing that blank spot where word count should be. I changed my strategy this year. I have to work on something every day whether it be edits, new words or visiting other blogs. It’s worked so far and I don’t feel guilty if the hubby wants to watch a movie and all I have time for is reading a blog before it starts. 🙂

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  9. EmmlyJane says:

    I love this idea. I’ve only tried to track my word count in the past. Gets frustrating on days when you do character building, etc. because it looks like you’ve done nothing. I’ll be trying out this method!

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