The writing we get done in a day normally isn’t thousands or ten thousands of words. We’ll often get a few hundred or maybe a thousand or two words written. When we are working on long projects such as a book, these small accomplishments can get lost in the large word count we have to reach.
This is where recording your word count, and even time, comes into play. When we can see our progress it is encouragement to keep going, and we even learn about our own creative process.
I have started recording how many words I have written in a day in a chart I made. I record the date, the word count, and sometimes the time it took. When I meet my goal for the day, I get to check my checkbox (which feels very rewarding).
Doing this has helped my writing process because I can keep track of my writing over periods of time. If I keep up a regular schedule, I see the dates line up in my chart like a calendar, and when I don’t I can keep track of how many days I haven’t written. When I know how much I have slacked, it gives me a nudge to get back into the habit of writing daily.
It also gives me a challenge to one up myself. I can try to beat my word count from the day before, or if my goal is a specific amount of time to write per day, then I can challenge myself to see if I can write more words in that amount of time.
When you record your word count and time, you can start to see a pattern in your writing. You can begin to tell how long it normally takes you to write five hundred words, or how much you can write in ten minutes or an hour.
You may also find that it is not always how much time you write that lends to a greater word count, but the day. Sometimes the time it takes you to write a couple hundred words one day is the same time it takes you to write a thousand words the next.
When we can see these patterns, we can then understand ourselves and not beat ourselves up on the days when we simply don’t write a lot. We know we will have a better day, and can be thankful we still got words down on the page.
We can also know our capacity for writing, and know how much writing is plausible in a day for us. Knowing how long it takes you for a book writing session or to write a blogpost can sweep the doubt away if you have time to do it or not in your day.
I love writing in charts.
I made a special “Progress Records” chart for myself on Canva that you can download for your own use. If you like creating your own, you can do so on Canva or use whatever creative method suits you.
If charts aren’t for you, simply record what you have done in your journal, on your phone, or on a scrap of paper.
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Download and print the Progress Records chart or make your own. Fill in the first slot today.
Tip: If you have trouble remembering to record before you start (like I do), leave a note for yourself at your workspace.
What is your record for today, or what is your all-time best record? Share in the comments. (I’m sharing mine, too!)