23 May 2013

Numbers and their ilk

The time has come that you’re now writing regularly. Perhaps you chose to have multiple ideas running at one time, perhaps you didn’t. Things feel good, feel strong.  Sitting to write has that feeling of flow. When you complete a writing session, you feel accomplished. That is, until someone asks you a question.

“How much did you write?”

Wow. Way to burst our happy bubble, person! They don’t want a vague concept of accomplishment. They want an actual, measureable number. The question begs for a goal or milestone that you can point to and crow about regularly. A piece of concrete floating in the ether.

Don’t panic. We can deal with this.

First, we have to go back and explore what we established as our goal. We sat at a campfire and discussed that last year. You don’t remember? Let me refresh your memory. You’ll want to have a way you personally can find that feeling of accomplishment. This could be as simple as counting pages, lines, or words. Something that makes sense.

Next, we need a way to calculate the progress. Almost any computer these days contains some form of spreadsheet capability. If not, you can find a free one on the web. Each word processor offers a way to get a count of the words within a document. With these two items, we can get what we are writing and massage those numbers into something anyone can understand. So when someone asks, “How much” we can answer with however we determined our goal to sound.

This actually does offer an additional advantage to the process. Now that we are tracking our writing, we can determine if our pace will allow completion of the project before the end of the week, month, year, or millennium. It creates a vague sense of direction, which we’d need to add to our plot and characters.


Today's post was inspired by the topic “Progress” as part of the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com/. This ongoing tour allows you, the reader, travel around the world from author's blog to author's blog.
Don’t miss tomorrow’s posting over at: http://suesantore.com/

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour: http://merrygoroundtour.blogspot.com

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