I’m a slow writer. I freely admit it. There are times when I envy other writers who can produce four or five (or more!) books a year, and have them all hit best-seller lists (an indication that those high-producing writers are publishing quality stories). But I’m the proverbial turtle when it comes to the writing race.
Still, I like to document my progress. I keep a journal open on my desk, and every day I write down things I do related to my writing career, like the number of new words I write each day, or the research I conduct.
Here’s the journal I kept last year when I was writing Mary and the Captain:
There’s nothing fancy about it; 300 lined pages, which gives me plenty of room to document my progress on a new page every day. Here’s an entry for a book I’m working on right now:
And yes, I use stickers to show when I’ve met a daily goal.
I’ve come to rely on stickers. They keep me focused. They motivate me. I hate having to turn a page in my journal if I haven’t first applied a sticker on it. To me those stickers validate that I’m doing my work and meeting my goals.
On average I go through two journals a year. Here’s a new one I picked up this week at my local Tuesday Morning store:
The cover has a soft, suede-y feel. I can’t wait to begin writing in it (although I think I should finish filling my current journal first).
And here’s the pen I just started using to write in my journal. It’s brand new; I picked it up as a souvenir at the theater when I saw Hamilton:
Journals and pens and stickers may not seem like very much; but combined together, they help make writing fun. They’re also my way of rewarding myself for plowing ahead, meeting my goals, and writing my book . . . no matter how slowly I do it!