I’ve spoken here about how I’ve been using a timer method to help increase my word count. It’s working for me. It’s made me more aware of what I need to know to progress on a scene.
One of the tools I’ve been using lately is a simple word count table changed to accommodate word sprints. The image below is a template of the one I made. I’m sharing it if you’d like to use it.
At the bottom, you’ll find a link to view it. If you like it, you can copy and save it as one of your own or download it as a excel spreadsheet.
It’s pretty simple, but I’ll explain what I use each column for. I’ve set this version up for two WIP, but more columns can be added to accommodate three or more WIP.
First off, the date, I put it there for accountability. It makes me more likely to write if I have a string of days where I’ve put in great work. Of course there are going to be days where I don’t. For a few days a couple of weeks ago, I was doing some edits and didn’t get to writing. Then there’s the occasional day off. I need that to keep me as sane as a writer can be.
The next column is WIP Title (starting total). On the one I’m using, I have S & F for Stone and Fire, a WIP still occasionally referred to as paragargoyle by me. Below the title, I have the day’s starting WIP word count total.
Then on to the sprints. For each sprint, I input the total I typed during that time period. At the start of each sprint, I write my starting count in a journal or note it on OneNote which I use to keep all the worldbuilding, character sketches, etc together online. The good thing about using OneNote for that is that I can cut it after I finish and get the word count.
I use 30 minutes for each sprint. I know others who sprint for 15, 20, 25, 45, even up to an hour. Do whatever works for you. I put space for four sprints. If you want to do more, simply add more columns.
The last column is the day’s work. I put that there because I sometimes type words outside of the sprints. For me, the sprint totals far outpace the other amounts. It also gives me a big burst of excitement when I see a good number in that column. I subtract my end word count from the day’s word count to get the total of words I typed for the day.
Happy reading and have a great day,