5 Ways To Track Your Writing Progress

I know some writers hate NaNoWriMo and others love it. And agents are understandably wary of any NaNo novel that’s queried within 3 months of pencils down. For those who are unfamiliar, NaNoWriMo stands for ‘National Novel Writing Month’, otherwise known as the pledge to write 50,000 words (or 200 pages of a novel) during the 30 days of November.

But me? I’m a fan.

I like setting goals where I can measure my incremental progress and watch myself get closer to my goal. When I was weight lifting, it was exciting watching my lifting weights go up every couple weeks. When I hit my body weight on my deadlift and squats… when I hit my ex’s body weight on my deadlift and squats… those were exciting numbers to see.

But that was a couple years ago. And a couple pounds ago.

These days, most of my incremental goals are with my writing.

NaNoWriMo is faster than my natural writing pace, and involves cutting a lot of things out of my life in November to make it happen. BUT! In the off season, there’s two sessions of ‘Camp NaNo’, one in April and one in June. Best of all? During Camp, you set your own goals.

This year, they’re working on improving the websites, but CampNaNo has expanded their tracker methods. For those of us who might be in an editing or revision phase? Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but I LOVE the new options.

Yes, these are listed on the Camp NaNo site, as options for tracking your current progress, but you can use them anytime, anywhere!

Writing Tracking Methods

  • Words – the traditional NaNo yardstick.
  • Lines – helpful for those writing poetry or other sorts of works.
  • Minutes – Useful for those of us, squeezing in our writing (or editing) time when we can.
  • Hours – Useful for those of us who are working on research or editing or workshopping or making index cards and plotting out. All those side tasks that don’t feel like ‘real writing’, but are, and are oh-so-necessary.
  • Pages – ME! All the pages I’m revising get counted in here. I’m loving being able to track this coherently through their system!

Speaking of, it’s time for me to stop stalling and get back to those pages. They aren’t gonna revise themselves, now are they?

What’s your favorite tracking method? How does that change up depending on which writing phase you’re in?

Travel Pictures: 4th of July


Yellow and brown moth on a door frame.

I flew down to Raleigh with some good friends.


Of course, I managed a little time for working on my CampNaNo word count!

My new friends were outside of town and had a few chickens.


My old and new friends helped me learn how to hold a guitar, how to strum, and where to put my fingers for 3 open chords and 5 complete chords… I’m pretty slow and my fingers are very tender.

We headed into Raleigh for the farmer’s market and the festival downtown. (Plus, Sono for sushi for dinner on the 4th!)

But, there’s no place like home. (Also, nothing like learning the ‘pro-mode’, with the ISO turned all the way up on my camera phone for nighttime photos. That’s my first attempt.)

Camp NaNo

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”

My original novel’s first draft was started during National Novel Writing Month and finished during Camp Nano that following July. It was my 3rd attempt at writing Demon Marked and I’d never made it over 20,000 words before.

Last week, I sent my current draft out to a new beta reader, so now it’s time to restart on the sequel. I started last year, but then changed the ending from my current novel. So, the bits I wrote are either no longer accurate or already included in the last book. Time to try again.

I may get distracted if I hear back from my new reader, we will see.

This weekend I should get minimal writing done, as I’m hosting a 4th of July party for 100 of my nearest and dearest friends and family. Then, we’ll be kicking off a basement remodel as we finally get the leak down there fixed. It looks to be a busy July.

Wish me luck!