Why You Should Record Your Writing Progress

     A few months ago, I probably wouldn't have even considered writing this post. But I've discovered lately that trying new writing strategies and techniques, is not a bad thing at all! It's incredibly important to stretch yourself to find what you excel at, and what you can work on.

    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...
2) You Can See How Far You've Come

    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

Comments

  1. I think this is an awesome idea and I want to start doing this. I think the back to school sales may see me buying a couple notebooks for this. Its a lovely idea and it might help me with motivation on some days.

    Thank you for this post, Melissa. You've inspired me.
    God bless you!
    <3

    iviewrites.blogspot.com

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    1. Aw I'm so glad Ivie! <3 Back to school sales are always the perfect time to grab bargains on stationery supplies. :) I really hope keeping a record will inspire you! Thanks so much for commenting and God bless!

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  2. I record when I have plot bunnies (month and year) but that's pretty much it. Tracking words (as I found out with NaNo) tends to stress me out, thus shutting off my word flow. I record progress so much in my head, I'm afraid that it will make things worse if I start writing it down.

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com

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    1. Ah that's too bad Catherine, but I totally get it! Whatever works best for you, works best for you. :) Thanks so much for commenting! :D

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  3. What a cool idea!! This is such an inspirational post!! Yes, everyone needs that many journals. ;)

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    1. Thank you!! I'm so glad you feel that way. :)

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  4. This is such a great idea! I tried doing this a while back but it never got done...now that I'm getting organized it might be a great idea to implement it. ;) Thanks for sharing, and that picture with all the journals XD I'm on the advanced road to be taking that picture someday...
    Great post <3

    Anna | www.worldthroughherheart.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Anna! Hopefully you can try it again and see if it helps motivate you or not. (Hopefully it will!) XD I love the journal picture haha! Thanks so much for commenting!

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  5. I actually just started doing this! I decided to do something new with my writing "bullet journal" (I put that in quotes because I'm actually entirely lost when it comes to bullet journaling and I'm probably doing it all "wrong") and start recording monthly and daily goals and writing down what I've done each day.
    I've only been doing it for a few days, and only the first day went super well, but it's helping anyway. :)

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    1. That's so great! I've seen a lot of bullet journal posts around but have no idea how to do one either, haha, so you're not alone! I'm sure your journal is wonderful. Keep at it! :) Thank you for commenting!

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  6. This is a brilliant idea! I'll most certainly try this, thank you for sharing!!!

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    1. Aw thanks Gray, I hope it can help you! <3

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  7. I don't record my writing progress in this way, but I usually will mention it in my diary. I think it makes sense to keep yourself accountable though, but I write in lots of different places--websites, two blogs, various folders in my laptop (I have way too may folders and I love it)--and it would be hard to put that all in one place. But this is probably a good idea, which I might do one day. And like you, I have way too many and also not enough notebooks/journals--one for art, one for stories, poetry and sometimes book, one that's a diary and a bunch of miscellaneous ones.
    Shanti @Virtually Read

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    1. Ah I understand Shanti. I love how you also have a specific journal for different things! It makes me feel so much more organised. :) It's good that you have some kind of accountability though, even if it isn't a journal. XD Thank you for commenting! <3

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  8. Such a good post and recording on a daily basis sounds like a great idea! Must try it! Thanks Melissa!

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    1. Thank you Lisa! :) I hope it works out well for you!

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  9. THIS IS SO SMART. Sometimes I find my writing just... evolving. And since I'm super big on tracking and things like that, this would be such a good idea!

    But wait... *catches breath* I'm sorry I disappeared last month! I'll be checking up on your old posts that I missed but for the time being... I'm back?!

    - andrea at a surge of thunder

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    1. Aw thanks so much Andrea! That's super cool that you can see it evolving, and hopefully keeping track will show you how exactly. XD

      That's alright, we all need breaks! I'm glad you're back, and thank you for commenting!

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  10. I love this idea! The only time I've ever really recorded my writing progress is during NaNo, and interestingly I always seem to write way more when I have some sort of accountability. I should definitely start doing this! :)

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    1. Thanks Laura! :D That's really interesting, and I've found the same thing with tracking my progress. I don't want to disappoint my journal, after all. XD Hopefully this can help! Thank you for commenting!

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  11. Yes -- every time I walk into a store I'm like "are there notebooks in here?" and I start wandering around. I usually find them, as though I'm magnetic to lined paper and such xD

    I loved this post! I've been thinking about doing something like this for a while now, having something like a bullet journal for writing, and your post really inspired me to go create something like that! And it's an excuse to by another journal, so... ;)

    audrey caylin

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    1. Haha I swear as soon as I told someone that "I'm a writer" it became my natural instinct to find notebooks/journals in whatever store I go to. You can never have too many, right??? XD

      Thank you! I'm glad it did. <3 I hope you love it as much as I do (and yes, it's a great excuse!). Thanks so much for commenting Audrey!

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  12. Ahh yes I do this too! I record like down to the minutes I write when I'm drafting.😂 But just this year I've started (at the end of the month) writing in my journal what I achieved which is SO HELPFUL for remembering.😂 I have a terrible memory. And you're so right that it is super motivating?!? I look back and see what I did last month and feel like always matching it so YAY FOR tHAT.

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    1. YAY FOR THAT indeed! XD Oh wow, you've taken it a step further than me! Sadly I can't record minutes as I do a couple here and there each day, but it's awesome that you can. :) Good luck with your writing and thanks for commenting Cait!

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  13. I should definitely start doing this!

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    1. You should definitely try it out and see if it works for you! :D Thanks for commenting Skye!

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  14. YES TO NOTEBOOK COLLECTIONS. My mother is confused as to how I can need/have so many, but I'M A WRITER. (Even if I don't actually write in all of them??)

    Jem Jones

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    1. YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH NOTEBOOKS!!! :D Haha yeah I think my family get confused too, but it's obviously a mandatory requirement for a writer. XD Thanks for commenting Jem!

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