How to Track Your Editing Progress

Last time, I shared David Greenshell’s invention of LeNoWriCha (the Legendary Novel Writing Challenge) as an alternative to or supplement for NaNoWriMo, to give more motivation to write via a more customized reward system and positive feedback loop.  So far, it’s been working really well.  I tend to stay more in the Easy and Normal range with a few more Incomplete days than I would like…but I also get a few Heroic and Legendary days in there, so that makes me happy.  I’m still plugging away on my Dark Crystal Project, and am reaching the end of my first draft.

Which means very soon I’ll begin editing and revising.  Which opens a whole new kettle of fish.

I now have LeNoWriCha to track my daily writing progress and give me rewards.  But what about editing?  How do you track that?

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The Legendary Novel Writing Challenge!

Whew!  I somehow managed to survive Camp NaNoWriMo for July 2013.  It took a lot of burning the midnight oil and frantic cramp-inducing typing on my part these last few days, but I made it!  (Day 28 I spent all day, from 8:00am until 11:30pm writing.  I got 8,876 words done in a single day!  20 pages!  Heilige scheisse!)  Just goes to show that the habits of college haven’t worn off yet; I still put everything off until the last minute.

This Camp NaNo was really stressful and I was way behind my word count for about 2 weeks.  Trying to catch up once I feel behind was probably the biggest stressor, and even though NaNoWriMo always stresses that you get major kudos for trying, I still don’t like falling short of a goal I set for myself.  My writing group can attest to my depression and complaining throughout the month.

However, a good thing did come from all the stress.  Well, two good things, actually.

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Guilt, Measurements, and New Projects

Have you ever started something and then wondered why?

I’ve been feeling like that about writing.  I’m one of those people who loves to have written, but often hates the actual process of writing.  The times when writing feels smooth and effortless, when I actually feel happy and satisfied with my writing while actually writing are few and far between.  I usually rely on favs, likes, and comments to keep my spirits up.

And there’s always punishment.  I’m not Catholic, but sometimes it feels like I “got enough guilt to start my own religion.”  It’s not fun, it’s not pretty, and I wish I wasn’t wired that way.  I’ve used fear of punishment for failing to drive myself forward for years, and the worst demon is the one inside your head.

Needless to say, this is not the most healthy way to be productive.  In fact, it’s becoming counter-productive since my energy levels are dropping and my life is more topsy-turvy than it’s ever been before.  Being unsettled means that the delicate schedules I weld into place quickly fracture under life’s pressures, which only acts as further discouragement.  I also have a bad habit of taking on too many projects when I’m feeling good, projects that I can’t always handle when I’m depressed, and when I have to cut back or don’t meet those goals, that only fuels the depression.

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