I'm late! Sorry! *hangs head*
Ok, for those of you free-spirits who are frightened of plotting, planning or organizing, I wouldn't read this. You may get hives. **Disclaimer: Lisa Pulliam will not be held responsible for any reactions to this post, be they medical, mental, or physical.
Talk on a couple of loops I'm on in preparation for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) has centered around spreadsheets for tracking progress. Those of you who ignored my warning, I just heard you faint. I told you this would freak you out! I know not all of us are doing NaNoWriMo, but a spreadsheet may help those of us doing the chapter challenge.
I wanted a spreadsheet that would let me input my daily word count, my deadline, daily word count goal and overall goal length of project. I wanted it to take that information and tell me how many words I need to write today to get on track and if I write at my current pace, when I'll be done.
I googled and found a few spreadsheets that had components I wanted, but none of them had all of the functions I wanted. And I'm not an Excel guru, so I struggled to customize the document to my needs.
Today I hit the NaNoWriMo forums to ask for help and I found one that had most of what I was looking for, at least the hard stuff so I added the rest of what I wanted. So now I have a spreadsheet that lets me do all of what I wanted, plus a neato pie chart that shows me the percentage of what I have done.
For those of you who are skeptical, I've found it rather motivating. I started the count as of today, then put in the words I already have. So I played with it and put in that I only wrote 17 words today. It said I would meet my goal on October 11, 2020. Yikes! When I change it to 100 words a day, it shaves off 10 years and 9 months. Writing 1,000 words/day, I'll be done January 8, 2008. Not bad! See how motivational that can be? Just a couple more paragraphs and you shaves off months, or maybe even years.
Does anyone want a copy of this spreadsheet? Send me an e-mail at lisa (at) lisapulliam (dot) com and I'll send it to you, along with instructions for putting in your info.
What tools do you all use to keep track of your writing, goals or submissions? If you've found anything helpful online, please leave us a link!