Wednesday, March 16, 2011


What does productivity mean for writers?

I've often pondered this question. Trying to figure out if I'm productive or not. As a writer what consists of being productive? I'm sure some of my friends and extended family think I'm just fiddling around and goofing off. If they do, they haven't said anything. To them I'm sure my writing productivity is something totally different.

I've come up with a list of different ways that we as writers can mark our productivity:

Research - I've had days where all I did was research. I don't have a single typed word to show for, but the ideas are forming more and more in my head.

Word Count - I didn't used to keep track of my daily word count, but since NaNoWriMo I have been obsessed with keeping track of my word count. Some days I log very few words and others, like today, I log almost 4k words. To date I have 62,583 words in my YA manuscript. I am shooting for at least 70k by the time I'm ready for submission. We'll see how that goes.

Pages - I've seen other writers on Twitter logging how many pages. To me that's hard to do. For some reason I find that marking how many pages I have written a little difficult. I do pay attention to the number of pages, every now and then. Like today I noticed that I have 200 pages to my manuscript in size 12 font, Times New Roman, and double spaced. Looking back on my college experience when I had to write a 20 page historically accurate research paper and thought that was hard, I'm floored I have this much written. 

Editing - There are days where I don't do any research or any writing at all. Instead I read over my work and note changes that need to be made to either the plot, scene, descriptions, characters, or anything that needs to be fixed. I usually do a full run though of the novel, which takes time, before I go back to fixing the changes. Sometimes I'll be reading a chapter late in the work and realize that I need to fix something earlier in the book. It's easier to fix that if I haven't even begun the actual fixing. I just add it to my notes for that section. Then when I do go through and fix the actual work I have a more streamlined experience.

Reading - Yes, reading is also a form of productivity to me. I usually don't read much while I write the first draft of anything, but then when I'm doing the editing process I tend to read up a storm.

So, now do I log those hours of working? No, I haven't yet begun to do that. I just log it in regards to how many days I have been doing this or that. Maybe I'll start to log those hours eventually. It would be interesting to see how much time I actually spend working on my novel.

How do you mark your productivity?


  1. I usually mark my productivity in word count, although these days I've been counting blog posts and time spent bugging people (aka "networking") on Twitter, too. ;) If I didn't, it would seem like I'm getting nothing done. Maybe I'm not, but don't tell me that! Leave me to my fantasies of productivity. La la la la la!


  2. lol ... That reminds me of the comic strip from Will Write for Chocolate where the writer uses twitter words towards her word count. I love it. If only. :-)

    Thanks for stopping by.