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April 16, 2018

Organization Tip: Word Count Calendar #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop



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This next tip is great for motivation as well as keeping record…a word count calendar.

A word count calendar is a calendar where you can write down the daily word count you reach inside that day’s box. Do this at the end of the day when you don’t plan to write anymore.

After you turn off the computer, if you end up writing in a notebook and type it up the next day, add those words to that day’s word count. After all, typing up your written words counts. When I do this, I tend to revise, so you’re putting in the same effort and thought.

I like to jazz this up with stickers. I’ve seen writers posting pictures on Instagram of their calendar full of stickers to represent how much they wrote. And I had wanted to do that because it looked like a lot of fun.


I use heart stickers or writing days and thumbs-up stickers for other accomplishments, like sending review requests and recording YouTube Videos.

What I like about combining these two methods is that you have the actual word counts visible and you can add a sticker as a reward. I use bigger stickers for those word counts that are 2,000 or more and smaller stickers for word counts that are under 2,000. Even 500 (and 100) words gets a sticker!

It’s neat to look back on the week and month and see your progress. Or even to see which days resulted in more or less words.


QUESTION: Do you keep track of how much you write?



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79 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't keep track on a calendar, but I do keep track on the computer.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Keeping track of a daily word count would depress me so I've never done it.

Juneta key said...

I like that idea, but not sure I'd keep up with it after new wears off. Might try it.

Chrys Fey said...

It can be depressing if you really don’t have time to write, but it’s supposed to be more motivating so you can put a word count down, no matter how small. This can help push you if you’re struggling to write.

Chrys Fey said...

It can become a habit if you do keep up with it.

Chrys Fey said...

That works.

H.R. Sinclair said...

I sorta keep track, which means I'm not very good at it. LOL But I like the stickers!

Chrys Fey said...

The stickers make it a lot more fun and rewarding. :)

Pat Hatt said...

I keep track in my head, but it is neat to see it all done up.

Liz A. said...

Perhaps if I start writing again, I'll utilize something like this. At the moment, just opening the writing files is an accomplishment.

Chrys Fey said...

A lot easier to see a week’s or month’s work when it’s written out on something like a calendar. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I know what you mean.

Lynn La Vita said...

The sticker & word count calendar is a neat idea. As I go through your site, I see lots of hints. I don't usually count my words, but for my Guest Post I had a limit so I counted over and over. It was interesting to see what emerged when extra words were eliminated or a sentence reworded.

Thank you for reading and commenting on my Guest Post (Alex’s site). It’s good to visit your site again!

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

I keep track when I do NaNo, but outside of that, not so much. Maybe I need some stickers to nudge me to do some of the writing tasks I have ahead of me right now!

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Lynn, you might like to try #Fi50, the Fiction in 50 Words hop! It's a great exercise to try to get a whole story into 50 words (okay, and yeah, I host the very tiny hop, but I'm trying to keep it going after the founder had to pull back--http://www.ninjalibrarian.com/p/fiction-in-50.html and would love more participants!).

Botanist said...

The word count calendar is a neat idea, Chrys. Very visual. When I'm in first draft I track word count in a spreadsheet that turns it into a graph so I can watch my progress. Same sort of idea, both are motivational, your's has a lot of visual appeal to it.

nashvillecats2 said...

Good post Chrys, I don't keep track on computer but do note things on a calendar closeby.

Yvonne.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I want stickers. I use NOVLR writing program and I can set goals and it keeps track of my writing streaks and has a neat graph to see how much I've been writing over time. But stickers are so pretty...

Carrie-Anne said...

I only track daily wordcounts during NaNo, the two Camp NaNo months, and JuNoWriMo. Otherwise, I just watch the numbers going up in the master file, and the chapter-by-chapter wordcount file if I have one.

Lisa Thomson said...

I love the sticker idea, Chrys! I don't write down my word count but should start. I like the idea of keeping a calendar separately for my writing only. I would be inclined to write the hours spent on the title of the project for each day. Thanks for the Spark of an idea!!

Chrys Fey said...

Hi Lynn! It’s not really about counting words for a specific count, but to see each day’s progress no matter how small. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Stickers can’t hurt. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Motivation is a big factor and the main goal here. Whatever way works, calendar and stickers or spreadsheet and a graph...both are great options.

Chrys Fey said...

That’s great! I like to keep track on paper rather than the computer. After doing so much on the computer, I want something simpler.

Chrys Fey said...

Stickers make it a lot of fun.

Chrys Fey said...

I used to just watch the numbers go up on the document, but then I got interested in seeing what I actually put down during each writing session.

Chrys Fey said...

It’s a lot of fun to keep track and see your progress. It can be motivational, pushing you to strive to get a sticker each day or to aim for more words. :)

Magic Love Crow said...

The stickers are a fun idea!

DMS said...

I have never kept track of my word count- but I am a slow, slow writer. This is something to think about though. I can see how it can be very rewarding and motivating. :)
~Jess

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness, this looks so fun. I like having physical things I can hold in my hands like this. I need to get some stickers!

Unknown said...

Love the stickers. I don't keep word count on a calendar, but I do post excerpts from new chapters to my website as a way of testing my progress and getting input from readers and writers. https://drshoultz.com/wip-round-peak/

Chrys Fey said...

They are. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Definitely something to consider as a way to cultivate a few more words and to urge you to write more often. :)

Chrys Fey said...

So do I. After doing so much on the computer, it’s nice to have something like this not digital. Also, you can access it easier and faster.

Chrys Fey said...

Sharing with readers is a wonderful idea.

emaginette said...

I try to keep track of most accomplishments. Adding stickers is a great idea. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

JoanCurtis said...

Yes, I do keep track of my daily word count. It's to help me know when I'm done. I like the idea of stickers, but I struggle with the idea of writing to a word count. That feels contrived and sort of left-brain to me. I love it when the words flow, scenes unfold and ideas emerge. That's the fun of writing. Some days that happens and other days it's a struggle.

Chrys Fey said...

Stickers add charm and bring out the children in us. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Well, this calendar is for keeping track, not striving for a certain word count. I said “even 500” gets a sticker but so does 100 words. Stickers all around! It’s the effort that counts. :)

The Cynical Sailor said...

I've got a spreadsheet I use to track my word count, but I really like the idea of stickers. So much more fun :-)

Chrys Fey said...

A lot of writers use spreadsheets but I find that too technical and complicated. I like to keep this part simple and fun. :)

E.M.A.Timar said...

I love your organization tips, Chrys! I have been using a spreadsheet with mixed results, but I love the stickers. I used to do this for projects back in school. I color coded my butterfly stickers to mean different things. I miss it, so I think I may be hanging up that wall calendar I got for Christmas and buying some stickers.

Erika Beebe said...

Hello Chrys! I love stickers! I use Scrivener to do all my word count goals. I think I set a final word count goal and let it tell me what to shoot for. I do what I can and celebrate when I meet my daily goal :)

Chrys Fey said...

I couldn't use a spreadsheet for this. Try out that calendar you got for Christmas with some stickers and let me know how you like it. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I don't use Scrivener, but it sure does offer a lot. :)

sage said...

I don’t even keep a paper calendar and I don’t keep count of words—since I have written any books (just one dissertation), I generally look at completing projects instead.


I have decided to consolidate my two blogs (one is more professional) as I can’t see any reason to keep working on them both. In a strange way this feels like I’m coming out of the closet as I haven’t written about my livelihood. Most of my posts from now on will be at www.thepulpitandthepen.com

You’re welcome to stop by.

Nas said...

Hi Chrys,

Awesome tips and yes, keeping track is important! All the best!

Victoria Marie Lees said...

A wordcount calendar is a great idea to keep yourself positive. Thanks for sharing this with Author Toolbox.
Chrys, if I didn't say before, I'll help out with the launch of your e book. Please feel free to remind me and show me how to do it or what exactly you need. You know how to reach me. All best to you.

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

I keep track of my daily word count on my calendar: keeps me inspired and motivated :-)

Raimey Gallant said...

I do keep track, but unlike during Nanowrimo, I stopped keeping track of what I before. That's confusing. I'll try again. I have a daily tally that I clear every day. I'm not sure if I'll go back to my nanowrimo way. I love the idea of a sticker calendar though. How fun!

Unknown said...

Great post! I use pacemaker to keep track of my daily word count - so helpful!

Unknown said...

I use a word count app on my phone (Writeometer) to keep track of my goals. It pops up daily and reminds me to complete my daily target :D
I really like the idea of stickers on a calendar though!

Anonymous said...

I love your stickers! What a great way to stay motivated. I don't track my writing, but that's probably because I don't have any tangible deadlines I'm trying to reach.

Elsie

J.J. Burry said...

I love your calendar and the stickers! I keep track of when I write but not how much I write.

Kelly Steel said...

It looks like a great idea. I don't much keep count as it is.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

The calendar is a great idea. I think I'll try it. Never know how many words I type a day. It will be interesting to find out. And maybe I'll speed up and write more. Thanks for telling us about it.

Lidy said...

Ever since last year's NaNoWriMo I've been keep track by using a calendar. I create one on Google docs and where I left off at the the end of my writing day, I highlight yellow and insert a foot note. Where I write the day's date and word count. Then go to the calendar at the word count there too.

Christine Rains said...

I love the stickers! I don't keep track, but I try to get at least 1000 words down every week day.

Unknown said...

I don't keep track of word count while I'm writing unless I'm participating in NaNoWriMo. I do keep track of work count when I'm editing and use it for pacing. The calendar and stickers are a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

Romance Reader said...

Awesome way to keep track of wordcount!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you so much, Victoria! I'll add your name to my list of awesome bloggers. :)

Chrys Fey said...

That's great! May it always inspire and motivate you. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I wouldn't want to clear my daily tally. I like to see what I do each day. :) But everyone writer works differently.

Chrys Fey said...

I'll have to check out Pacemaker. Thanks for the tip!

Chrys Fey said...

That sounds like a neat app. I'll have to look into it. I love that it pops up daily as a reminder.

Chrys Fey said...

I don't have any deadlines either. For me, it's just fun to watch my progress and to see how much I write each day (or when I write lol).

Chrys Fey said...

I like to do both. :)

Chrys Fey said...

For editing, I keep track of pages edited rather than the word count. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks for letting me know about your other blog. I will of course stop by and follow it. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Nas!

Chrys Fey said...

You should try it to see if it motivates you. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Great! You'll have to let me know how it works out for you. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks!

Chrys Fey said...

That's an awesome weekly goal!

Chrys Fey said...

Google Docs is an idea, but there’s times when I need to check the word counts when I’m offline. That’s when a paper version comes in handy. :)

New Release Books said...

I like your idea of calendar and the stickers.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks!

JEN Garrett said...

No, I don't keep track of my word count because I write picture books (usually) and it starts to freak me out if I have a story that's over 500 words. But I do freewrite, usually in sprints of ten minutes. It's so worth it!

Chrys Fey said...

With picture books, keeping track of a word count is a different story. :)