Before I launch into my next post, which will be all about analysing my writing efforts during 2016, I thought it might be useful to share my Writing Log template that I’ve been using for the last few years.

It’s very simple, does most of the calculations for you (monthly totals, averages, etc, etc) – all you need to do is to enter the number of words you’ve written, or edited, each day. I find it particularly useful for working out what my average wordcount is, and for tracking when I’ve been particularly productive, or anticipating when those seasonal slumps might occur.

The download link is below (a zipped up excel file) but I can always share the Google Sheets original if you travel that way. Jump down if you want to get stuck in, or read on for a breakdown of each column:

  • Session – choose between morning, lunch or evening, depending on when you did your writing (or add something else in the Lookups sheet)
  • Action – select write or edit or, if you missed that day entirely, select n/a (this is used to keep a total of the days you’ve missed). Again, you can add different entries in the Lookup sheet if you want.
  • Word count – you don’t really need me to cover this one, do you…?
  • Title – I like to enter the title of whatever story I’m working on
  • Draft – I also like to keep track of which draft of a story I’m working on. Add different entries in the Lookup sheet, if that’s your thing.
  • Target/Actual – I don’t use these, but I’ve left them in anyway.
  • Total/Written/Edited – these are all calculated columns, so let them do their thing
  • Notes – if I missed a day, I usually like to put in the reason here. Also, if I hit a particular milestone (e.g. finishing a first draft) I also like to put it here.

There’s a worksheet called 2017 Totals where some more of the magic happens. As you progress through the year you’ll be able to see your monthly totals and averages here.

If you happen to use this and have any questions, use the comments below or find me on twitter. In the meantime, here’s the link: