Progress is Invisible Unless You Track It

Making progress is invisible unless you track it. Especially when you’re a slow writer or working on a long-term project, you need to track your progress. Evaluating your progress is essential to learning how to improve your processes. And making my monthly reports to you keeps me on task. How To Track Progress My way involves a calendar journal and spreadsheets. Breaking a task, like writing a novel, down into its smallest parts helps keep the creator from being overwhelmed. Focusing only on the small parts can make the creator feel as if they work and work without making progress.  The way I combat the disillusionment of I’m-not-getting-anything-done, is to track my time, word counts, and project “steps.” You can use your calendar, a tally sheet, or a day planner. Anything that helps you keep track of what you’ve accomplished and what you need to do next will work. The Write Practice has a basic post about tracking progress for writers. Intentions vs. Goals I use intentions rather than goals. Intentions allow business to give way to life and life to give way to business. I also use three broad baskets to describe what I do: Making (anything creative), Managing […]

A Never Give Up-Never Surrender Attitude

It’s the end of June and time to evaluate progress for the first half of 2021. These have been among the top five most difficult months of my life. I’ve always had a never give up-never surrender attitude. That has kept me moving forward, though at a much slower pace than normal. Intentions Instead of goals or resolutions, I use intentions. You can miss a goal. You probably break most resolutions. But an intention is a focus. When life gets in the way of your plan, take care of that event or disturbance intending to return to your primary plan. Every morning begins with a renewed intention. Making I started working on the second draft of the last half of the book at the end of January. As of today, day 188 of the year 2021, I’ve averaged 2.6 house per day for 125 days working on If I Should Die. The number of words produced are slightly less than half the number I produced the first half of last year. The last half of my first draft is always full of plot holes and snags and snarls. In five months, I’ve rearranged chapters and plugged holes, untangled snarls, and […]

The Ups and Down of Progress Continues in May

Can you believe it’s almost June? I feel as if I’ve lost 18 months. I’ll bet some of you feel the same. We’re suspended between pandemic and post-pandemic. And the ups and downs of progress continues in May. If you’re new to these monthly progress reports, I use intentions and general categories for tracking tasks I intend to accomplish. Making Progress remains slow, but it continues. Several scenes in If I Should Die were not working. I’ve rewritten those scenes many times but finally found the right one last week. That means more rewriting, but I know the story will be stronger for it. Managing I’m keeping up with the basics at this point. I have plans and materials to rearrange and enlarge my workspace. That project is on hold for a little while. (See Home—The Room is Spinning.) Marketing My low-key marketing efforts slowed this month but are continuing to generate sales. Sales makes me happy. Thank you readers! Events I’ll be taking part in ConQuest 52, our local science fiction convention Memorial Day weekend, today through Sunday. It’s virtual this year. If you don’t have any plans, check it out. Guests of Honor include authors, Becky Chambers and […]