In my first post of the new year, I wrote about how I wanted to try to write just a little bit—100 words—each day for 2015. I’d had a really heavy few weeks (death sucks, ya’ll) and decided that in 2015, I’d try to do something that makes me happy every day, i.e. writing.
The key word there is “happy.”
In the original post, I talked about wanting to keep things fun, which is why I made my daily target amount so small. It’s modeled after the “run streak” phenomena, which is basically where a runner tries to run at least a mile every day for a set period of time. I’m big into running and I’ve known several people who have done this for a month, a year, etc.
So, there’s the background. Time for a progress report!
As you may have guessed from my theme of happiness and fun, I do not have a perfect streak of writing every day. Because, honestly, life happens.
See that March calendar up there? The red stars are for 100 words, the gold stars are for 1,000 words, silver is for revision and purple is for client copy editing (because that takes up writing time).
As you can see, there were three days I didn’t even manage 100 words. Why? Because my baby got the Norovirus (24 hours of puking) and then gave it to me.
Yeah, so no writing those days. And forcing myself to do it would have gone against the “fun” principle aka “the whole point.”
So, I’m not perfect. But I am having fun. It’s nice to see actual visual progress of my writing (more than just a climbing word count) and it’s also nice to see what I’ve been doing career-wise over a period of time.
If you’re going to try out the calendar and sticker method, here are a few things I’ve learned:
1. Give credit where it’s due: I didn’t add my copy editing to the calendar until March. I did so because I had a lot of editing to do in January and February and it was taking the place of a lot of my writing and revision time. Basically, I wanted to give myself credit for working my butt off on writing-related things.
2. Adjust your progress reports: So, as you can see, I had very few 1,000-word days in March. I prefer to write 1,000 words per day when I’m writing a first draft, but, honestly, with the baby and life, that’s just not happening this time around. That said, I have had many, many days where I’ve written 500 to 700 words, yet all you’ll see on those days is one lousy red star. Thus, I think I might start giving myself gold stars for 500-word days in May.
3. Buy lots of stickers: I’m already out of the red ones. Huzzah!
How’s your work-in-progress treating you?