Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Erin Quinn's [Un]Sexy Business of Writing Tracker

I've given several workshops on how I juggle all that I do (working full-time and writing full-time and a family).  One of the "tools" I use is a spreadsheet to help me keep track of my page and word count.  Not only does tracking give me a goal, but it also gives me a quitting time which is just as important.

As writers, we often think we should be writing every free minute we have.  That makes it very difficult to have one of those things called a life.  If you are able to set reasonable goals for yourself and stick to them, you won't have to work like a maniac when it comes to crunch time.  Tracking will help you make sure you stay on schedule.

Another wonderful thing about tracking?  It lets you know just how fast (or slow) you write.  When you get a contract and they ask, can you have the book done in six months?, it's very tempting to say "of course!"  But how will you know if you can do it, if you don't have some method of measuring how long--in the REAL world--it takes? Knowing in advance what your output is can save you untold stress down the road.

Hope this helps you as much as it helps me!

Instructions on how to use the tracker.
Tracker spreadsheet.


Callene Rapp said...

This is great, Erin! Is there an easy way to change the dates, or do you need to do it a day at a time? Either way, this is an awesome tool! Thanks for sharing it!

Erin Quinn said...

Hi Callene, you can change the dates very easily. I think there are directions in the instruction sheet. Excel will let you put the first date in and then grab and drag the corner of the cell and it auto-fills the rest sequentially.

Or you can use a formula. :)

Callene Rapp said...

Thanks, Erin. If it was in the instructions I missed it or didn't understand it, I'm and Excel idiot, lol! But thanks for a great tool that I plan to use a lot.

Jolene Louise said...

What an awesome tool! Thank you so much for sharing! I will definitely be using this!

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Erin Kane Spock said...

Just downloaded and modified. I could use all the help I can get to become organized. :) Thanks for this tool. I really enjoyed your workshops in Tempe last weekend.