Strategy 1: Counting Words
One method of making writing progress is to create a word count deadline, either daily, weekly, monthly or bimonthly. I have tried daily/weekly and monthly only once when I participated in NaNoWriMo. Daily/ weekly caused too much stress. If I did not reach my word count (which was often), I would feel terrible and I would stress about trying to catch up or having to write a certain amount of words the next day. Monthly did not really work either: I wrote probably more than I would have normally but I was far off the 50,000 word count goal and lost steam after a while. Bimonthly is an option: I know of at least one author who uses this method. It would be less stressful than having a daily goal and it would be quite lenient, especially if I didn’t set it too high. However, the impending goal could be stressful. Then comes another problem, deciding on what the word count should be.
Another method to track writing progress is to set a time goal, for example, spending an hour a day writing. I have tried this before but I felt as though I could not relax doing anything else until I did my writing and when I did, I spent a lot of the time not actually writing.
Strategy 3: Scenes
I could make goals based on scenes, for example, I could say that I wanted to finish a certain scene in two days. However, each scene could differ in length and as I do not plan everything in detail, I would not know how long each scene would take me. I could just say that I will focus on a certain scene until I finish it. However, sometimes if I’m not very excited about a scene or if I have spent a lot of time on that scene then I can procrastinate writing about it. I don’t like skipping ahead to other scenes because I like my progress to be quite linear. However, perhaps it is something that I should consider.
So, here are three strategies. Which one would you choose? Or do you follow another? Let me know in the comments below. I am still figuring my one out.