Project 10K Update

Is it really only one month since Camp NaNoWriMo?  Wow.  It feels like at least three.

Some of you may have noticed that at the beginning of this month, I posted a link about my friend Gahlearner’s Project 10K challenge over on Flights of Fancy.  The challenge is to write or edit at least 10,000 words a month. If you succeed, you get to put the badge on your blog, like the one above.  Pretty!

So cutting to the chase, yes, I got my 10K this month.  Hooray!  I wasn’t sure whether to get the writing (P10KW) or the editing (P10KE) badge, because I did a combination of both, but I suppose it doesn’t matter much.

I’m hoping to keep up the P10K challenge all the way through to November.  I won’t be posting about it every month, but please do check out the bottom of my home page to see if I’ve done it. See, if you go look and notice that I’ve pledged to do this but I haven’t, I’ll be embarrassed, and fear of humiliation is practically the only thing that motivates me some days.  So GO LOOK.  Keep me honest!

This is the first time that I’ve really kept track of my writing.  During both NaNo months, I wrote all my NaNo text in a separate Word file (and merged it in with the novel outline later), so the word count is easy to keep track of.  But I can’t do that every month.  Now that I’m writing and editing chapters in situ, as well as short stories, I need a new plan.  It wasn’t as difficult to keep track of my writing as I somehow feared it would be.  This is what my spreadsheet looks like:

word count snippet.JPG

When I’m writing from scratch, that’s easy to count. For editing, I enter the word count for that chapter before I start revising, then check it when I’m done and use whichever number is higher.  Then I decide how much of it to count.  For instance, when I first edited the Mother Calla chapter, I decided it was “minor” and gave myself half credit for it.  But then I ended up not bringing that chapter to writers group that week after all, and editing it once more before I did.  That time I gave myself a little credit, but not much, because I didn’t change so many words.  However, for the short story The Vow, I made a lot of revisions and added a fair amount of text, so I gave myself full word count credit that time.  It’s an inexact measure, but I think it will work for me.

I’m curious: do any of you keep track of your writing progress?  How do you do it?  How do you count time spent on revisions?  Do you have writing goals for each month, and are they phrased as number of words written/edited or as particular projects of parts of projects to complete?

This whole idea of setting writing goals and keeping track is still pretty new to me.  But so far fun, and that’s the important part.

If you’d like a little push every month, Project 10K is open to all — come join us!

Happy writing to all my friends out in blogland!



 

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13 thoughts on “Project 10K Update

  1. Wow, your spread sheet looks great. I’d consider it if I had more time, it tells you when you did what, that’s always helpful when going back to something after a while. I just jot down the numbers with each chapter. For editing, like you, I look at the before-after when editing, smaller edits, when I reread a section before I continue wriring I don’t count at all. But that’s an individual choice, there really aren’t set rules, it should remain fun. I could perhaps add a ‘project goal met’ badge or something, if word count isn’t applicable. I found word count tracking to be the best motivator for me, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t include other motivators.

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    • I’m normally not very good at things like journaling or keeping up with scheduling, so I was surprised at how little time this took. Really just two minutes to set it up and less than a minute to jot down the numbers when I’m done writing or editing. So fast and easy!

      I think the badges you have are fine, I’m not sure we’d need more. If anything, maybe less — like just one badge, and you can use it for either writing or editing or both?

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  2. Let’s see if anyone else joins the challenge. I could make one badge P10K Month Year Mission accomplished or something like that. With the other challenges in the past it was usually the other way around, people wanted more and different badges, but there were a few more participants with different interests. We’re just starting out here, we can do anything. 🙂

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  3. I wonder you have time to sneeze! Though that, too, has been said of me. No, I don’t keep any kind of word-count log. But when I’m writing a first draft at the end of every chapter I make notes as to names, clothes, scenery, quirks of speech, and what you might call the ARM for the episode (or for each scene within) I then record the word-count and keep a running tally. All of which helps when it comes to revision and editing. This last story written (about to be posted) breaks most of my norms in being, right now, only first draft. I shall edit and polish at each upload. Also, it’s considerably shorter than usual–though certainly not as short your 100-200 words. Nope, still can’t do that. Unless you count poems which frequently encapsulate a story.
    Anyway, I’m still impressed with your writing.

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    • I’m not actually spending nearly as much time writing as I wish I was — certainly not the regular 2 hours every morning that I keep hearing “real” writers do. I’m not nearly as good as you about keeping notes on clothes, scenery, etc. It’s all a muddle at this point.

      I love doing the short pieces because it’s so nice to actually get something *done*, as opposed to my novel, which just keeps getting longer and longer with no end of the first draft in sight. You are already getting these amazing long novels done, maybe you don’t “need” flash fiction the way I do! 😉

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      • As I’ve remarked before, and as you’re now finding with your novel, my writing just grows and grows. I was delighted when, after the first draft, The Chronicle of Mideer weighed in at 14 chapters of ave.2k words each. Wow! Miracles do happen.

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      • Wow, that really is a reasonable size! I just ran a word count of Corwallen Manor and I’m up to 170K with at least another 30K left to go. Yep, there’s going to be a LOT of cutting needed for draft 2!

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  4. Well done on earning May’s badge! Your spreadsheet looks great.

    I have a spreadsheet to keep track of my word count and another for creative writing projects. I find it’s the easiest thing for me. The only problem I have is when I want a computer-free day (it actually doesn’t happen very often) and I decide to write by hand or when I write on my phone, then I find things start getting complicated as I have bits and pieces all over the place and I forget to update the spreadsheet.

    As for editing, I tend to count all the words I have edited rather than what I’ve changed or spent a great deal of time editing, as it still takes time and effort to edit properly (and I’m easily distracted). As I find editing laborious and nowhere near as fun as writing per se it keeps me motivated and I feel like I’ve achieved something. Win-win! 🙂

    I also set myself weekly and monthly goals to try and keep me focused. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

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    • Good for you, setting weekly and monthly goals. That’s half the battle, and I don’t do it nearly enough.

      I couldn’t write longhand legibly to save my life — well, not more than a page or two — so a computer-free day means a no-writing day for me. 😉

      For editing I’m trying to judge whether it’s “major” or “minor”. If I’m just doing fine tuning with a few words and phrases here and there, it goes fairly fast. If I’m really revising the content, I’ll definitely give myself full word count credit!

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  5. Many congratulations on an impressive performance for May. Despite what you say about not usually being so well organised, you sound like ‘a natural’ to me. Your spreadsheet is particularly impressive! As for setting goals for your writing, you’ve certainly proved the value of that. I’m really impressed by the way you’re fitting so much into your daily life at the moment, Joy. I know you’re really busy at work, too. Well done!

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    • Thanks Millie! So far I’m making ends meet by having almost no social or personal life at all, other than online with writing buddies or at work with my colleagues there. Not sure that’s so sustainable in the long run, though! Clearly I need to rearrange my schedule so I can cut some fluff and get the important stuff done. And hey, I’ve got my spreadsheets, and those always make me feel prepared for doing Serious Business!

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