The most successful and prolific writers write every day.
And this is the only way to not just become a writer, but to become a better writer each and everyday.
Every day you write, you are becoming a better writer from the day before.
Do this for 100 days straight and you are now 100% better than when you first started!
My only trouble was that I couldn’t write every day.
But when I finally found out it was just fear stopping me from writing (what if my writing is rubbish, what if no one reads it blah blah blah…. you get the picture), I took the advice from best-selling author entrepreneurs and decided to write every day.
How did I do this?
To help me get started and to stay motivated I decided to track my results in an excel spreadsheet. I thought seeing something visually this way would give me some encouragement, especially when you see the totals adding up at the bottom of the columns.
This also served as an electronic accountability buddy! I knew that I had to update this spreadsheet with a number at the end of every day.
The picture below shows my word count over the past three months. I want to see how many words I can create over this year. My ambitious target is 250,000 words.
The blue boxes indicate when I was on holiday (and you can clearly see i didn’t write!).
The yellow boxes show where I only journalled and did not produce words that I count towards my daily word count i.e words for blogs, my book.
Why Is It So Important To Track Your Word Count?
Because you can only improve if you measure yourself daily.
When you are trying to lose weight, you will always weight yourself before and after your diet change. This is the only way you can determine if your actions are giving you the results you desire.
If you notice you put on weight after the diet then you know something was probably wrong with the diet (or maybe you need to work on that will power to stay away from those cakes).
It’s the same with tracking your writing efforts. By recording your daily word count you can see which days you had great writing sessions and produced a lot of content. Why was that? What did you do on those days?
Conversely, you can also track the days when you didn’t write or meet your word count goal. Why was this? Perhaps you were on holiday. If so how can you still incorporate writing on holidays? Or perhaps something unexpected happened? If so, what can you do in these circumstances to ensure your writing habit stays on track?
I will be tracking my word count on a daily basis and will post my results at the end of every month.
How Can I Track My Word Count Goals?
I would recommend you do this in an excel document as this is the best place for numbers. You can also easily calculate your totals.
- Open a blank template.
- Across the header add in the months.
- Down the left hand side add in the days of the month.
- Now just add in your word count daily.
At the bottom of each month column sum, up the totals of all the days in that month and you have your monthly word count. See the picture above to copy my template.
How Do I Set A Writing Goal?
If you are just starting out then commit to writing a paragraph a day.
Or commit to writing 500 words a day.
Or commit to writing 1000 words a day.
The point is it doest matter how much you write rather than how often you write.
All our circumstances are different so don’t compare yourself to how much other writers are writing. You only need to compete against yourself. So do what works for you and layout a solid foundation that you can build upon.
The key goal is that at the end of the month you have consistently written the required amount of words you said you would. And these words can be any words. Your words can be for:
- A blog post
- Your book
- An article
- A book review
It really doesn’t matter at this stage. But what DOES matter is that you turn up daily and pound out those words and update that excel spreadsheet.