I have made progress!
It feels so so good to actually have a point in writing where you can see the change happening in the piece. So much of writing is done in your head through brainstorming, trying things till they work, or even just redlining and redoing. But, when you find that golden moment of actually feeling like you’ve made progress, you remember why creating is fun.
Which is why it’s so important to track your progress in a way that makes you feel connected to your creativity as well!
This is my progress plan. I learned out to create this type of mapping system from Caroline Donahue’s “Write Free” Course. The goal is to create meaningful goals for ME in relation to MY PROJECT rather than focusing on the usual ideation of “progress.” So it does not focus on word count or hours written, but on what I would feel is progress. For me, that’s finished scenes and chapters, planning of those scenes, and knowing where I’m going for the next writing session. This revision focuses on getting my plot in order so there’s a lot of planning and a lot of new scene writing (which I’ve blocked out for my own peace of mind about others knowing what’s coming in the book).
The feeling of finishing half of my progress plan is amazing! Do I still have a ton to write up? Yes. Am I excited to keep going now after so much struggle to finish the other drafting stages? Yes.
I really love this style of watching progress and figuring out what I need to do next, rather than simply watching word count, hour count, or what chapter I’m on. This is especially true now that I’m bouncing around chapters to fix plot holes and themes. Also, stickers help. The stars may be to block out my specific project work, but the other stuff is all in the notebook to make it fun for me to look at.
One of the most important parts of this plan is the treats/rewards! You can’t just hit a goal and not reward your Creative self for getting there or let your Critical self tell you it’s all for nothing. Reward yourself for accomplishing something and let yourself rest before you tackle the next big piece. Find what speaks to your Creative self. Caroline is a wealth of knowledge on finding those things so I’d suggest her classes. Otherwise it’s all about getting to know that creative side.
What do you do to make progress fun? Have you rewarded yourself for the actual progress you made before you kept going?