If there is one thing that I do which helps me to hit my word count goals not just on a daily basis, but also monthly, it’s track word counts. My personal spreadsheet has a column for each pen name, one for my free stories, and a couple more columns for different projects I’m doing. It also allows me to track quarterly and yearly word counts, with space for me to put in the projects I want to work on that month, what I’d like to get done, and what’s “on the radar” so to speak. I don’t believe that everyone needs a spreadsheet like that; however having a way to track word counts allows you to see your goals, keep writing, and push toward the finish line.
There are several different ways to track word counts. Scrivener, Google Docs, and Word have word count trackers built in for each project, and in Scrivener, hitting Control + , (That’s Control + comma) brings up a box where you can see how many words you’ve typed in that session. It’s how I put in my goals and know where I am at (or not!) in hitting them for the day. Then, I transfer this number to my spreadsheet. Both Google Docs and Word have a document word count, so if you know where you started, you can subtract that from where you ended and you know how much you wrote for the day.
If you’d like a modified copy of the word count tracker I use, drop your email below and I’ll send you a link to get your own word count tracker.
StoryOrigin also has a word count tracker built in that many authors in their Facebook group find helpful. You might find other websites such as Write or Die also contain counters.
You don’t even need a spreadsheet. A calendar or piece of paper on which you write your daily word counts works well too. It doesn’t matter how you track; what matters is that you are tracking your writing each day and using that to shape your goals. If you’re not tracking your writing, why don’t you start? You may be amazed at how it helps your productivity.
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