Using A Writing Log To Motivate

Randy Ingermanson asked his blog readers, “What Action Will You Take Today?” In asking this he is trying to spur people to take positive, small steps toward advancing their writing careers. I posted a comment there, and I wanted to share it with you as well.

Inspired by his recent series on “Writing 300 Pages in 30 Days”, I created a writing log
using a spreadsheet. Each day I will record how many words I have written.

Will knowing how many words I wrote motivate me? No. But what will motivate me is the calculation the spreadsheet performs in the upper left corner. There it tells me the predicted finished date for my first draft. It does this by dividing how many words I have left to write by my average number of words written per day, and adding this number to today’s date.

Based on the last seven days, the writing log predicts I will finish on May 26th!

Now THAT is motivating! Not only do I not want to see that date slip, but I would also like to see it move up. How can I achieve this? By writing a measly 420 words each day, which should not be hard.

Yes, it is a far cry from 300 pages in 30 days (mine is looking like 170 pages in 143 days), but it is still definable, measurable progress.

Also, I am officially at 57% finished. I had gotten to 60%, but after reworking my plot and expanding it a bit, I was pushed backwards to 55%. Now that I am writing again, I am excited to see not only forward progress, but a predicted finish!

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