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Monday, March 3, 2014

February Wrap Up

Since I've talked in recent months about Star Charts and Writing Schedules I thought it would be a good idea to do a monthly wrap up to let you see how the progress is going. If you're new to writing or struggling or looking for inspiration for some other goal you're tracking I hope this helps you get an idea of how it works for other people. I always like seeing how other people are doing, so I'll go first and share my progress.

This is February at a glance. Star are worth 1000 words each, butterflies are 5000 words (roughly 10 pages single spaced) of editing, and the seahorse was a proposal for a short story that I sent out.

My goal for February was to write 5000 words per week, or about 1k per day. You'll see I fell short. Some days I had really good writing days. Some days I didn't. I've been keeping track of my word counts for the past few months and they look like...

October: 24000 words
November: 22500 words
December: 20500 words
January: 5000 words
February: 18000 words

I was in transit during December and January and my writing schedule reflects that. I even planned for the low word count. But, what's interesting for me and for anyone else who makes long plans, is the total word count is slowly adding up. Since October I've written 85,500 words. If I were sticking to one project rather than using the Lazy Susan approach to writing, I'd have a whole novel written in five months. Less if I didn't take a month off.

And in February I edited 50,000 words. I didn't count how much editing I did in other months, and I suspect the number was lower, but it's still progress.

In March I want to write 22,000 words. I plan on finishing two shorter projects and sending out the respective queries for that. I still have 200+ pages of a novel to edit (so roughly another 45k?). This past week I tried to write first thing in the morning, and then spent the rest of the day editing.

If you are tackling a big project - writing a book or forming a new habit or whatever - I highly encourage the star method. Go find yourself a big calendar. Put it where you can see it. Give yourself a sticker every day you do what needs to get done. It's an excellent way to visualize progress and to track long term progress. Being able to look back and see my progress and know what my habits are helps me make plans for future projects.

So... there's February. I have three books on the merry-go-round of writing. Two of them should get kicked off before April 1st, and then I'll be swapping them out for a steampunk and a western... JK! The next short story is a steampunk but the next novella is, obviously, Heroes and Villains Book 4 and while it does have a cowboy it has a lot more Maria, minions, volcanoes, and chaos.

You're going to love it.


  1. I use stickers as well. I found it's a great motivator and visual record of my progress.

    Lazy Susan is a great descriptor of your process. It's pretty close to what I do as well. I get bored if I try to tackle just one project at a time.

    1. It works for me. I like being able to track my progress and habits. Like Thursdays, Thursdays are bad writing days for me. Always. Not sure why.