Word Splurge: Measuring Productivity Tool and Tips

Hey there. Fairly short post today, since I need to get writing. I’m past my hour allotted for the day for the internet.

Part of why I’m excited to get writing is because progress has been good. It’s been a long time since I broke the 10k mark in a week, let alone in one day’s worth of writing, but last week I did just that. And I think I owe part of it to a) remembering part of the method that usually works for me but which for some reason I seem to randomly forget, and b) my nifty new word count tracking sheet.

This is something I learned about at the latest conference, and with the hubby’s help, created my own. The original purpose is to track how long it takes you to complete a book by tracking your progress consistently. But, as a side benefit, it also helps you see how you’re meeting your daily and weekly goals, and your progress along the book. I’m not sure why, but seeing that you’ve only completed 35% of the day’s goals rather than just knowing that you haven’t met the daily goal does seem to make a difference.

I’ve included a little picture of it; not sure how it will turn out. Sorry – for some reason, it wants to appear incredibly blurry and tiny. If you click on it, it opens in a new window and is easier to see.

Okay, so the headings you want are: your dates, your starting word count, the end word count for the date, total word count for the day, and then it breaks this down into percentages complete. At the top, you enter the WIP title, along with your goals: daily and “stretch” goals – the “stretch” is, if you’re having a great day, what can you keep pushing for? Then you have the weekly and total goals (the total goal equaling the completed manuscript size).  If you prefer counting pages rather than words, than just change word count to beginning page count, end word count, etc, etc.

What else did I forget to do that I had been doing in previous manuscripts?

  1. slightly more detailed plotting (I can’t just start writing with no direction; it only creates a mess in the end for me.)
  2. music – listening to some favorite music helps speed through the time, I think, as well as distract my brain from … well, distractions. I know I can’t listen to anything with words, but maybe it isn’t a problem for you.
  3. push harder and demand focus. “Good enough” will only get you so far; you have to keep demanding more of yourself, because who else will?

Anyway, sorry again it’s so blurry. If you’re interested in seeing it closer, the file is here for you to check out: Wordcount

Enjoy, and may your word counts be prodigious!