Professional Series for Writers – Importance of Tracking Your Writing
Tracking your production in some manner is an absolute necessity in pursuing a professional writing career.
reason tracking is important is that it makes you accountable (if only to yourself) and it provides you with a
way to assess your performance.
Thus, if you get to a point of desperation two years into your writing career you
can look back and see exactly how much work you have put into the endeavor. Most of the time we only get out of
something what we have put into it and if we are disappointed with the results it probably means we need to work
harder and smarter.
The best method for tracking is to simply take a word count of all writing produced in a given day. However, for
those who seek to write fiction it is only fictional material that should be counted. For those who write non-fiction,
it should only be writing submitted for publication. Above and beyond these categories many writers keep a journal
but by no means should this be counted as part of your word totals for a given day.
Another aspect of tracking is setting goals. This topic is covered in further detail later in the book but for now,
it is important to say that every writer should have a specific word count in mind as a goal. One thousand words
a day is a good amount that will stretch the average writer somewhat while at the same time being brief enough that
they cannot feel daunted.
Once you have tracked for a certain period of time it is helpful to go back and analyze the information to see what
you can learn about your writing habits. You may find that you typically start strong in the beginning of a month
and then fall off toward the end. If so, then perhaps you can take steps to remedy this situation by rearranging
your work schedule. Look for patterns on particular days or on monthly cycles. See where and when you do your best
work so you can be prepared to schedule your most important projects during that time.
One last aspect of tracking is to write with the end in mind. This means that you should have an ongoing record
of projects completed. Whether those completions are books, articles or screenplays you should have some goal as
to how often and how many you seek to complete in a given period of time. For example, my personal goal is to complete
at least one novel and one screenplay a year. Knowing this, I can look back and see something that stands as a testament
to my progress as a writer for any given year. Only by continuing to produce will you continue to improve.
Learn how script writer, James Lamberg has written (and ghost-written) over fifty screenplays in the last ten years which have been produced both in the United States and the UK.
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