Thursday, January 26, 2017

Writing accountability calendar - January

This year, I am trying a new trick to get myself into the daily writing habit. I know writing everyday is the secret. It's a marathon and the only way to get stories finished.

I figure if you can slip into bad habits easily enough, then why not steer yourself toward good habits?

That in mind, I've dedicated a calendar to tracking my writing. It's on the wall and in my face.

This month has been a little experimenting. I had planned on using three colors - red, yellow and green. I was just going to mark the calendar but I soon decided to write the wordcount with the given color.

It turned out that yellow marker doesn't show well on the white background. I tried orange - too close to red. I also didn't have exactly the tone I wanted (in a houseful of markers, of course!) I wound up with red, light blue and green.

Red is zero words. Blue is under one thousand. Green is one thousand or more. "EDIT" is a day where I was editing, not writing new content.

Spotty month.

I already see a pattern I need to address. I guess I knew it was there but it didn't hit me until I wrote it down. Weekends are my worst output. You'd think it would be the opposite. I'm always looking ahead and seeing an open weekend and thinking I'll get a good chunk of writing done.

Yeah - not so, Paul.

Relaxing, reading, napping, paying attention to the kids, family time. I'm not making excuses - I am citing what is happening. I know I need to set aside some weekend time now - probably in the mornings before noon. Get off the iPad, grab my iced coffee and head downstairs to the office.

I would like to reach "pulp speed" #pulpspeed but if I can at least get consistently green (1K+) per day, I'll be satisfied. (See Dean Wesley Smith's excellent post, The New World of Writing: Pulp Speed. Hat tip to David J. West for steering me to it. It was a nice dovetail with this effort.)


  1. Love that phrase, "pulp speed." I'm going to borrow it. Good way of keeping track. I keep track in a journal but it's not in front of my face as a reminder.

  2. Good chart Paul, it lets you know Hey! I'm doing better than I thought or at last improvement over last year.

    I need to do a post like this.