Tuesday, November 1, 2011

[WoD] Keep Track of Your Progress

Welcome to November! It's NaNoWriMo time. Hope your hitting your word counts and still fighting the war against distraction with me. Continuing in that line, the first piece of advice for this month is to keep track of your progress. Doing so will allow you see how you've done in the previous days and it could give you the momentum to keep going.

The best way to track your project would be to check for spreadsheets over at the NaNoWriMo forums. You could download one there, or if you feel more adventurous and/or capable, you can make one for yourself. The only problem I have with the spreadsheets there is that you keep track of the total you have written instead of the amount you wrote for the day.

If you're like me, you like to track your day's work. I'll put in maybe 1500 to 2000 words a day. And I have it so it shows the total that I've done, but that's not what I like to track. I even set up a spreadsheet for the total amount of words I've written for the month. Sometimes I just like to write what's on my mind.

One of the nifty things I've seen in the spreadsheets at the forums is the projection of your writing. It takes the average amount of words you do each day and multiplies it by the number of days to show you in a chart where you could potentially land. This could give you a little motivation to write more each day, just to raise the projection up and above the 50,000 word mark.

If you do decide to keep track of your progress, I would recommend taking a look at it before you start to write each day. Let it be a small motivational kick.

A website to check out to help get you going is 750 Words. It utilizes a point system and badges to keep you motivated in writing everyday. I just got the flamingo badge a couple of weeks ago for writing ten days in a row, and today I received the cheetah badge for writing 750 words in under twenty minutes ten days in a row. It's a lot like a game and the badges act as achievements. There's just something that drives us to collect them all. At the moment, I'm attempting to get three badges: the albatross, for writing thirty days in a row, the turquoise horse for finishing off a monthly contest, and the NaNo badge for writing 50,000+ words in a month. You can check out more of the badges if you have some free time on your hands

But most important, keep on writing! We've just begun. Try to get a head start now before other things pop up. Things always have a way of popping up when we are the busiest.

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