Tracking Progress

How do you track progress when writing? One obvious way is word counts. Now I know there a a lot of word count haters out there, and I can kind of understand why having a set amount of words to hit as a target can be negative. I’ve often found that if I’m forcing myself too much then I resent what I’m writing and or the writing just gets really bad. I will think to myself thought that it’ll be nice to knock out a thousand words in a night, but I don’t get to annoyed if I don’t hit that target. I’ll also push for a few more words if I realise that I’m close to a specific number, but not often.

Mainly I’ll make a note of how many words I write during a sitting and at the end of each month I add up how many words I’ve knocked out, but this does not keep track of time spent editing or doing research and all the other bits we do. I know some people time themselves as they work but that’s not for me, mainly because I procrastinate too much. When I’m writing I’ll randomly drift off and faff about on social media for a few minutes before getting back to work. Surprisingly this I’ve found helps quite a bit, I think it gives my brain a few minutes rest so when I get writing again I’m able to do so much easier.

Back to tracking progress (I’m murder for straying off topic like that) I would imagine there are a lot of people who never pay any attention to how much progress they are making with their work, I’m not sure I could do that. Just get things done, just write write write and not even think about how many words they are jotting down, or how many stories they are knocking out.

It’s one of those things where no one is right or wrong, as long as we are getting words out of our heads then its all good.


2 thoughts on “Tracking Progress

  1. An interesting topic. Re social media, it’s a mixed blessing: yes it does provide a way to pause and pick up new ideas (sometime) but I now think it definitely gets in the way of getting on with the real work. Words count? I have some sort of measures, and more recently (as I get closer to that mythical “first draft”) it’s helped me to cut down, and eventually decide to have three books instead of one monumental blob!

    • I think social media is a double edged sword, managing it is the key I think.

      Word counts are good for that, I think it can be a bit daunting to some readers to see a book may be a big one.

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