The past couple of months, I have been participating in writing challenges via Twitter. Think #AugWriting Challenge and #SeptWritingChallenge. Even though I only made it a week or two the first month because of work and other personal commitments (a community play I was in, my kid’s birthday, my anniversary—August was a busy month!), the word count on my WIP jumped tremendously!
The writing challenge also helps me get out of research mode and into the actual writing. It’s easy to get bogged down. Last night, I started to write a scene and quickly got distracted by researching farmhouses in 19th century Ireland when all I really needed to know was what material the roof might be made of!
Anyhow, so I knew September might be the same because we have a big family trip coming up. I wanted a way outside of just Twitter, although I’ll continue to be accountable there, to keep track of my daily progress and my total jump in word count. I also wanted it to be flexible. Maybe some days, I want to set goals by time, and other days, I want to set them by word count. Sometimes, I really need to edit, and other days, I really need to just get words on the page.
So, here is the result, and I’m making it available for a free download to anyone who wants a copy.
- PDF: For anyone who wants to print out their log and keep track by hand, here is a PDF version that you can save to your device.
- Excel: If you prefer to work log your work electronically, I have created an Excel template. Simply save this file to your device wherever you want it. To create a new monthly log from Excel, click File | New | New From Existing. Then select the downloaded file (it will have an *.xltx extension), and click Create New. After that, save the file with your preferred name, such as “September 2016 Writing Log.” You can use the same original file to create a new log at the beginning of each month.
Let me know how these work for you and if you have suggestions to improve their usefulness. Happy writing!