So what's the latest trick I've picked up? Recording my writing progress!
Maybe some of you do this already, or maybe you don't. Almost four months ago, when I found myself in a shop's stationery aisle (admit it, your feet take you there without your knowledge; it's a writer's curse), I had to, of course, buy a journal. In my collection of journals, each has a purpose. Some are for drawing and world-building, others for random ideas, etc. So of course, this journal had to have one!
I decided to take a wild leap into the unknown and start recording my writing progress each day. And to cut out the rest of the boring details, I'm loving it! So here are a few reasons you might want to record your progress as well:
1) It Motivates You
I make an entry in my journal every night before I go to sleep, about any writing/blogging things I've done that day. (Occasionally I add bits about reading or life too, but shush, that's not what this post is about.) Knowing that I'm going to write something down--if I wrote/edited or not--pushes me to do at least something. Even if I can't write "wrote 3,000 words", I can at least write "started working on the fire scene".
I like to think about it as a kind of accountability. Some people have friends that check up on them to make sure they've done a task, and this journal is like that friend for me. It pushes me to write as much as I can, no matter how insignificant it seems at first. Some words are always better than no words!
|Admit it; we all know we're going to have this many journals one day...|
As I date every entry, it makes it easy to flip back a month or two, and see what I was working on then. Sometimes I'm disappointed that I haven't moved as far along as I would have liked, but other times my eyes go wide. It's incredible how much you can do in a short period of time!
Whenever I'm feeling a bit down about my writing, I'll flip back to the beginning pages of my journal, and tell myself: "You see how far you've come? You can do this! You've done it before, and you can do it again."
3) Dates Can Come in Handy
I can't tell you how many times I've wondered how old my story ideas are. Very intelligently (not) I decided not to date entries in my past idea journals. As my current journal sometimes doubles up as a place to scribble down plot bunnies, I now have dates for when I came up with my latest WIPs. Of Traitors and Tricksters, for example, was thought up on the 4th of July. (That makes it a month old when I'm writing this!)
Knowing when you finished editing a draft can also be great if you're like me. I have a strict rule where I don't touch a first draft for at least six weeks after completion, and if I forget to write it down...I have a general idea when, but I've never been good at keeping track of time. Writing down the exact finishing date has really helped me structure out when I'm able to take those next steps with my WIPs!
What about you, do you record your writing progress? If you do, how? If not, do you think you'll start soon? Do you ever find yourself in a stationery aisle with no memory of walking over there???
Best of luck with your writing, and have a lovely day! <3