A couple of years ago, I discovered the benefits of keeping a writing log. I’m working on writing a book, and so often, I would get discouraged about my progress. I decided to keep a writing log and it truly revolutionized the way I work and it inspires me to keep going.
You see, with a writing log, I merely keep track of my activities of the day. If I spend 4 hours and only write 1 page, then that’s OK. I write it down. Although I do keep track of my time, more for just general basic recordkeeping purposes (taxes, etc.), the real heart and purpose of the writing log is keeping track of what I actually do, my “production.”
So, for example, it might look something like this:
12/13/2010 Edited 4 pages.
12/14/2010 Edited 7 pages, wrote 1 page.
12/27/2010 Wrote 1 page.
And so on.
The miraculous thing to me is that when I tally these up at the end of every month, I am absolutely astonished at what I have been able to accomplish. In the daily grind, I often feel like I am hardly doing anything. It is easy for me to get discouraged. But then at the end of the month, I find out just how much all of those – 1-page-days add up. It’s remarkable.
Then, when I do my year-end numbers, it is truly phenominal. Keep in mind, I am only a “part -time” writer – it is not by any means my full time occupation. I do this as I have time, but I also deliberately make time for it and remain committed to it. I have even sacrificed time with family and friends to do so. So I am quite serious about it. But check these numbers out!
GRAND TOTALS FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR OF 2010:
Edited: 452 pages
Hand-edited: 494 pages
Wrote: 57 pages
Read: 445 pages
Whoa!! Now keep in mind that those 400+ numbers mostly represent multiple times-through something. Meaning I may edit the same page or chapter 2 or 3 times, not just one go-round.
Still, it totally astonishes me that I managed to accomplish this much in the past year. It tells me that “I can do it” (see it through to completion); it tells me that even though I had hoped to finish my book by the end of 2010, and I’m disappointed that I did not, I can still point to these numbers and say that I really did work on it hard in the past year, and if I didn’t finish it up, it wasn’t for lack of trying. It just wasn’t finished, is all.
I highly recommend the practice of keeping a writer’s log, especially if you are working on a longer work and sometimes feel overwhelmed or discouraged. This practice has helped me a lot.
© 2011, writingreading