I ran onto a very useful spreadsheet for writers, and ran onto it at a very useful website for writers.
The spreadsheet helps you keep track of daily word counts by “project,” a very practical approach to both monitor your work output and motivate you to work. At least, it works to motivate me. You can find the 2012 Writing Progress Spreadsheet at the link in those words. It was created and is updated annually by the author Jamie Raintree — yes, that’s her very useful website linked to in her name.
I have not had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Raintree, nor have I read any of her works yet. But I’ve looked around her website and found it an interesting blend of writing tips, writing news, and journaling — all mixed together with whimsy and very useful no matter what your writing experience or interests.
I found Jamie’s site and her very useful word tracking spreadsheet with a Google search (long live Google!) a few days ago. And even though I found this tool well past half of the year, I was able to figure it out with her instructions and a little fiddling around. I now have just what I was looking for to transfer individual project word counts all into one location. If you’re statistically obsessed and somewhat mathematically challenged about your writing, this is an excellent tool for feeding your obsession.
After a quick exchange via email, Jamie assured me she would be happy to let me share the spreadsheet download and instruction link with visitors to this site. She also assured me she is planning to update the spreadsheet each year, so you won’t need to muddle through “spreadsheet-eze” (a language I do not speak well!) to keep using the tool beyond December 31, 2012.
As for actually using the spreadsheet itself, I am still learning my way around all the features. I admit I haven’t spotted any instructions yet regarding how you handle the situation if you need to track more than the five projects set up in the spreadsheet. I’m confident I either can figure that out, or shoot an email to Jamie and get an explanation.
And as for the blog content itself, you’ll find some useful stuff under the easily accessible categories of Jamie’s site by hovering your mouse over and/or clicking the navigation bar at the top of the site. You’ll find lots of good stuff about goal setting, writing tools, etc.
If I have any criticisms at all, it would be that some of the stuff on the site is a bit “dated.” Bear in mind that’s only a mild “aw, gee” criticism. For example, I ran onto one post from 2009 where she’s struggling with the idea of publication. I would really, REALLY like to see (maybe it’s there and I missed it?) her take on the new Kindle-Nook-etc. array of options for self-publication that have developed since 2009.
But please take note: My concerns about the “dated” nature of some of Jamie’s posts is coming from a man who is woefully slow about updating his own website, so don’t give them much concern. Look around Jamie’s site and you’ll find lots of good things of value to your writing.
And as for me — I’m working on publishing more frequently and regularly here. Thanks for your continued support.