Novel Writing & A Sense Of Achievement

The sense of achievement I gain from completing projects is huge. When I worked as an analyst, this was fairly easy to come by.

My internal id monologue on a typical day in the office: Plan the thing, do the thing, (yay!) do the thing again, do it better! (double yay!) Didn’t work? Don’t worry, do the next thing. (Woohoo, new thing!)

But in writing a novel, there’s not really the same sense of discrete tasks. There was a planning phase, for sure. But now I’m into the writing phase it’s just a long, lonely race with myself until the end.

Mix that with the boredom threshold of a grasshopper with ADHD and it makes long projects somewhat challenging.

So I create way markers. Things that give me a sense of achievement even though they are purely arbitrary. Every day, a thousand words. Bing! Achievement unlocked.

But today was special.

Today my manuscript hit ten thousand words in total.


Only ten more of those to go for this draft. And then only *mumblecough* drafts to go until submission. These things are the things that keep me focused.

(Yes, I do update a spreadsheet with my daily word count every day, that in turn updates this pie chart. I like spreadsheets. They’re pretty and orderly, and they never want to give you an update on the gestational progress of the British royal lineage.)


  One thought on “Novel Writing & A Sense Of Achievement

  1. May 15, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Great idea. Could you share your spreadsheet with the world? I’d love to use it! I too know the pain of the long, slow slog of writing. A pie chart would help maintain my motivation.

  2. May 20, 2013 at 2:45 am

    Sure thing, Leif. I’ll try and figure out a way to embed it somewhere on here.

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