Tracking Your 100 Day Writing Challenge Results
The 100 Day Writing Challenge starts tomorrow. Here’s how to track your results, not only to record your success day-by-day but to learn what works for you and what doesn’t.
At a minimum, have some kind of calendar available on which you can record your successes. Your challenge is to get ONE HUNDRED X’s in a row. All you have to do is write 100 words to earn “a success.” If you write anything more than your required 100 words, consider it a bonus. If you have to, or want to stop after your hundredth word, go right ahead.
I personally think that a physical calendar is the best. It serves as a reminder and gives you the “kinesthetic” reinforcement of physically marking off the days. Since I have my own working space, I’m cutting up a calendar from the dollar store and taping the four months on the back of my office door. I will easily be able to see my progress from my desk.
If you need an “in your face” daily reminder, you might consider taping one or all four months up on your bathroom mirror so you can’t avoid the reminder to get your writing done.
One of my writer friends said she will be using a small “pop-up” desk calendar she got for free from the bank. She plans on doing her 100 words during her noon hours and can easily put the calendar on her office desk.
The website Time and Date has some excellent calendar options. Print out the months you need, with or without holidays, with or without boxes.
For those of you who live on your cell phones, there is probably an app with a daily reminder buzzer. I’m not sure if there are apps that you can check-mark daily progress on since I am NOT a cell phone lover. If anyone knows or finds an app that works as a buzzer and as a tracker, be sure to let all of us know!!
While having a calendar is a great way to record and reinforce your daily successes, you might also consider tracking MORE information as you go along.
Tracking Additional Information
I will be tracking the following information on a daily basis:
- Day #
- Word Count
- Start Time
- End Time
The reason for tracking the extra information is:
- To have a record of this journey. I want to know how many words I actually do on my novel project each day.
- I want to know approximately how many words I write per hour AND how many hours I can write in one session before petering out.
- I am keeping track of start and end times to find out what time of day I do my fastest writing. Though I probably will do most of my writing at the very start of my day, I might occasionally test other times, just to see how time impacts my word count. Even at the start of my day, it might make a difference if I start at 6AM vs. 8AM. Recording my start and end times will allow me to determine my optimum writing times.
- Ditto with the “location.” Though I will do the majority of my writing in my office, I have several trips planned. It will be interesting to see what the results are when I have to write in a coffee shop, MacDonald’s, a picnic table or while sitting in my car.
- The notes section will be for observations and you know … notes!
There are numerous options for recording the extra data:
- an excel sheet
- a word doc — Create a table
- oneNote — Creating a table, or create a tab with daily diary pages
- Scrivener — Create a Binder with 100 daily Chapters OR create a Chapter with 100 daily scenes OR create a Chapter with a table. A fourth option is to track everything on note cards on a cork board.
I am a FAN of Scrivener and use it for EVERYTHING (including this blog post).
In my Novel Book Binder, in the Research Section I have created a Chapter called TRACKING. In the Chapter there is one scene which is also called TRACKING. If I feel the need, I can add additional scenes with extended notes, observations, tips, etc.
Here is the table I created in Scrivener
That’s it. Figure out WHAT you are going to track and how to do it. Please leave us all a note if you find a nifty tracking app for iphones or androids or computers and let us know if you plan on tracking any additional information.