Nothing Beats Achievement for Motivation, No Matter How Small

It’s funny what things motivate you.  I’ve got a ‘word tally’ spreadsheet for my current project, which I use to keep track of how many words I’m writing.  I have a column each for date, words written, accumulative total and total words to go until I hit my target of 100,000 words.  I’ve worked out the sums so that all I have to do is enter the latest total, and the spreadsheet calculates the rest.

While the sight of the increasing number of words I’ve written is fantastic, it’s nothing compared to the thrill of seeing the number of words I’ve got to go decreasing.  I’ve recently passed the halfway point, and I’ve never been more driven to get those words down.  It doesn’t take much to get me to the desk now that the ‘words to go’ number is less than the words I’ve done!

So if you’re having trouble getting focused, start a word tally.  Soon you’ll find you won’t be worrying whether the words are good or bad, just so long as they come off your target.  A great way of getting that first draft done.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Graham Storrs
    Jul 14, 2009 @ 10:25:02

    On my equivalent spreadsheet I have two extra columns. One is a ‘forecast’ – i.e. if I carry on writing at this rate, how many words will I have by my chosen end date? The other is a ‘projected end-date’ – i.e. if I keep on writing at this rate, at what date will I reach my target number of words?

    I think both of these were a mistake. As you start to slip on your daily word-count, the ‘forecast’ starts looking like you’re writing a YA novel – and then a novella! The ‘projected end-date’ also starts moving out into a future so distant you’ll know by the end of the book whether all your sci-fi predictions came true.


    • J-A Brock
      Jul 14, 2009 @ 19:48:06

      i used to keep track of how much under or over my daily/weekly target i was, but put a stop to that quick smart! it was too discouraging.


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