Word-Counting and my Quest for Better Accountability Trackers

Productivity is a strange thing, especially for me. I have a way of not believing myself that I was productive pretty much the moment I finished something. Writing has this wonderful and practical way of showing me exactly how productive I was (or a good approximation thereof, because amount of words /= expended effort, of course, but at least it’s a rough guideline). That’s why writing feels good, even when it doesn’t. Even when I have to force myself, because at the end of the day, my wordcount rose and I did something.

It’s also why I think I avoid editing. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it. I do – I like cleaning up manuscripts and making them better. However, in my head, it doesn’t feel productive. It feels like nothing happened, I produced nothing. Some days I end up with fewer words on the word-counter than before! And even if there are more, it doesn’t seem to count because it’s already a finished manuscript that I counted in last year’s wordcount.

I think, therefore, it’s fair to say that while keeping myself accountable is a good thing – I got way obsessed with the whole word-count thing. In the next ROW round, I’ll try to eshew a daily wordcount as a goal as well, to try and un-obsess myself ;).

For now, I stopped writing down the amounts I write every day. Instead I started trying out the whole Pomodoro technique. The cute little program Tomatoes lets you keep track of all your 25 minute intervals and lets you tag them with project names. In that way I can see easily how much time I expended on shortstories, on writing, on editing or anything else I wish to track there. I’ll try this for a while :).


~ ROW80 – Round 1 – Sunday Check-In Week 8 (I think) ~

Goal #1: Complete Trading Tides (Driftwood Deeds sequel, ~30k). ♥ completed.

The finished manuscript is with my publisher and I consider this goal completed.

Goal #2: Complete After Life Lessons Edits + get it ready for publication. ♥ On track.

We sent out the ARCs and have been working a lot on promo. All that’s left now is to format the print edition and do one last check through the text.

Goal #3: Complete By The Light Of The Moon Edits + get ready for publication. ♥ On track.

After spending the last two weeks editing Where the Wind Settles and Trading Tides, I am finally making some head-way here. It’ll definitely carry me through the next week at the very least.

Goal #4: Complete Forest Fires edits + start shopping it around. 

No change.

Goal #5: Write a total of 80k (on my own) in that time. ♥ On track.

After a quick check (yes I counted, math with months is not my thing) we are now 55 days into the 80 days. Please correct me if I’m wrong, I can’t even really seem to figure out which week we are in and how many there are left!
Anyway, as I was mostly editing in February, and I still haven’t found a way to adequately count the amounts of rewrites I do, I’m a little behind at 46k (between Trading Tides and three short stories I wrote for submission calls). In a different, way, however, I feel on track. I never meant to do all that much writing this month, that was the point and I’m still confident that I can catch up on writing in March.

Goal #6: Start a new project with L.C. Spoering, as well as one of my own. ♥ On track.

1. Lorrie and I started planning After Life Lessons: The Interlude, and went over the stories that are already written. We’ll get to the others ready in March.

2. I finally decided on my next writing project. I already knew I wanted to do something in erotic romance again, to keep up the little bit of momentum of Driftwood Deeds and also, because I do really enjoy just telling erotic love stories. It’s fun.

This new – as of yet untitled project (I don’t even know if it’s one book or more) will take a young music student into a jazz club where she takes a part time job and falls in love with the dominant owner, a jazz musician himself. I have a feeling I want a bit of Mmf in there as well, we’ll see. But I started outlining it this weekend and I should start writing next week.

Miscellanea.

– Read several books (now up to 20/50)
– Wrote 2 short stories and submitted them.
– Getting pretty good at integrating housework as well as yoga into my schedule.
– Found a better way of valuing my editing.
– Designed a homepage for a client.

One Comment

  1. You’re so busy! But sounds like you’re getting everything done little by little.

    I haven’t tried the Pomodoro method , but I do prefer tracking my progress by time rather than words. I only worry about daily word counts during Nanowrimo. Other months I just aim to do so many hours per day. I like this because some days I’m doing critiques for others or website stuff etc, and that’s why I don’t write so much that day.

    But I do need to increase my productivity this month, I just have so many wips I want finished this year. Clearly I don’t like editing, lol!

    Well you’ve inspired me today! Thanks for sharing your goals in such detail. 😀

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