Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Writing Progress

My brain is one that seems to straddle that line between the raw artistic and the analytical. I think that may be one of the reasons that when I try to create art, I write. Stories have a structure, a flow to them, but also the unbridled wild ride of creation. So, I write; but I also have a spreadsheet where I keep track of how much writing I've done.
I've talked about before how I use Pomodoro Timers to keep my focus on task when I write. I've also, since I started writing, kept track of how many words I've generated in a day. I've played around with how for a long time. 
  • At first, I was just copying down lines in a Google spreadsheet, tracking my effort on a single project.
  • After I started throwing multiple balls in the air, I opened up a new spreadsheet, with multiple columns, one for each project that I had or wanted to work on. Given how convoluted this solution was, I'm amazed I stuck with it for the two years that I did.
  • My current solution is a web-form that I have bookmarked in my folder with all of the bookmarks I load every time I write. I open up all the links in the folder, punch in what project I'm working on, and how many words are in the document currently before I get to writing. When I'm done, I punch in the day (Easier because it's a form) and how many words are currently in the document.
I've messed around with the results, throwing in a quick calculation to count the number of words written. It's based on the Magic Spreadsheet concept, but something more focused internally. These are metrics I'm tracking for myself.

And it lets me see some of the progress I make. There are times where I can manage as many words in a single 25 minute span as I used to in an hour or even a day's writing effort. The fact that it's only four hundred words is just a comment of where I stand in the word-smithing: I could be better, and I'm slowly getting there.