WRITING: Keep Track, Make Goals

I picked up a good habit this holiday season that I should have started years ago, but never have instituted consistently: tracking my day-to-day page counts for writing.

One tip writers always give is: Track your writing. Being aware of those numbers helps you measure your typical output, and gives you a sense of whether your writing is waxing or waning. If you’re not paying attention, 1-3 pages a day over three weeks might seem perfectly fine… until you notice it goes from 20/wk to 13/wk to 10/wk. In the three weeks I’ve been measuring, I now have concrete evidence of my habits as a writer: I tend to write in bursts of 4-10 pages 2-3 times a week, letting me hit one of my goals (2 pages per day), yet keeping me a long way away from achieving the other (consistent, every-day writing).

I usually write in bursts of 3-6, sometimes going a bit over that. If I can increase my consistency, instead of 14-16 pages a week, I’m looking at 21-42 pages a week. That’s a script every week, if I can eliminate those days where I ‘don’t feel like it’. Even if I can increase my writing days per week by one or two, that’s a great increase of output for little work. Tracking let me know that, rather than pushing for longer bursts, it might help if I start pushing through the lack of momentum on my ‘days off”, which currently outnumber by ‘writing days’.

My Goal, When I Started Keeping Track: 14 pages a week, or 2/day. Met.

My Next Goal: Previous, plus writing a minimum of 2 pages on four days of the week.

In my three weeks of measuring, I hit that goal only once. We’ll see if I can hit it consistently now that I’ve set my goal.

How about you?


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