I posted my stats for 2015 and there were some questions about how this actually works. I use the Sticker Method, which isn't new and wasn't invented by me, but it works for my personality.
Writing is a long process and putting a sticker on a calendar appeals to my need for instant gratification. One sticker equals one thousand words. In 2014 I started tracking my editing the same way, with one sticker equaling 10,000 words (~ 20 pages) edited. Besides giving me instant gratification, a sticker chart like this lets me see at a glance what my writing pattern has been like for the last few months.
|July on the bottom and September on top. The stars were edits, the circles were words written.|
|August and June... The first two weeks of August were filled with back-to-school prep.|
This is not stuff I would remember. I've tried Excel sheets and writing journals, but they require pulling something out and writing something down. My calendar and stickers are in the pullout drawer of my writing desk and it takes all of 30 seconds to pull the drawer out, stick a sticker on the paper, and move on.
Will this work for you? Maybe.
I've found this method is good for reminding that I am doing work, even if I'm editing. Sometimes the word count of a manuscript is reduced dramatically in edits and that can be discouraging. The sticker method allows you to see the progress you've made. It allows you to see your habits. Maybe you don't write on birthdays (looking at my calendar I can see I don't), or maybe you don't write on the days where you're supposed to bring coffee to the office, or on date night. Maybe you only write when your morning is free, or your evening (like I do).
|October was a really bad writing month. There are lots of gaps, especially on Mondays.|
Give it a try, let know what you think, and remember that you only need to write 400 words a day, five days a week, to write a novel in a year. So if 2016 is the year you've decided to write a novel, grab yourself a stack of 90 stickers and get going!
* This was originally posted on my FB author page.