Writer Resources: tracking word and page counts

2013 Year TotalsThis is something for the writers out there.

I’ve been tracking my writing out-put for a long time, but it never occurred to me until recently that others might also want to have this kind of a resource. To the left you can see a screen shot of my latest, and probably final, numbers for 2013.

I’ve broken the totals and projects down in a more sophisticated manner in year’s past, but didn’t find all the data useful, so I’ve simplified it in 2013 and for 2014.

So what exactly am I talking about here?

I like numbers. I’m not good with them, but I like them. I also like to have a tangible idea of what I’ve accomplished each month. Just looking at this capture, you can see that the first quarter of 2013 was kind of rough. I know that’s because I was in Citizen’s Police Academy and had a lot of new personal stuff going on.

What I have is an Excel workbook I’ve set up something like a calendar and each day I record how many words and how many pages I edited on a particular project. The above snapshot shows you a yearly summary, but there are also tabs or pages for each month that look something like this:

Month example 2013

You can click on the image for a bigger view.

What you’re seeing is the progress I made in December, this last month, and how I worked on juggling a few different projects. The sheets are built for ten projects, though I don’t anticipate a person working on all ten for a single month. I usually hide the rows of projects I am not working on, but are still in various stages of being written, revised or edited. From looking at the above snapshot, you can tell that I have four projects in the pipeline, but I was only really working on Committed and Line of Duty in December.

You can see that below the daily totals I have some random numbers. This was a thing I ran into on the functional side. I needed a way to track what page or word count I started the day with so I knew where I was ending up at the end of the day. I’ve applied a fix for the 2014 version of the sheet.

January 2014

If you look to the right of the monthly stuff, you can see a grouping of six columns which provide an area to jot down where you start and stop each day.

Okay, I’m not 100% sure this was a great explanation. It just occurred to me to post this and links to my template files. Should you like your own versions to tweak, I have two types. The first is a plain-Jane excel workbook, and the second is a prettier one with various encouraging graphics.

Happy 2014 writing!

Sidney Sig

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