Last week, I talked about having a writing schedule. I gave some benefits to having one. This week, I’m going to talk about another benefit of having such a schedule is that it helps you to track your projects. It’s good for the planning stages, my spreadsheet has a worksheet for tracking my projects as well.
My writing tracker worksheet helps me to know where I am in the writing process. Have I written up a premise and log line? Have I completed the beat sheet for the piece? What about the characters? It’s a simple list of the things you need to do before you write, if you are a planner or planster. If you are a pantser, you might only need to know if you have written the story, which you likely will already know. You can also use a writing tracker can to determine where your piece is in path to publication. Have you edited it? The most useful writing tracker is oen that keeps track of submissions. If you aren’t self-publishing the work. Who did you send it to? How long ago? Is it time to follow up? It’s always good to know this information.
You can include submission tracking with your writing schedule or it can be a separate file. I will say that it is important to do it, so you don’t send a work to a publisher who has already rejected it. Save yourself some embarrassment. Track the places you send your work to for publication if you aren’t self publishing.
If nothing else, a writing tracker can help you to determine where in the editing process as well. Have you done the initial read through? Did you check for repetitive prose? What about passive voice? Have you reworked any of it you found? Are you ready to do the second read through? Did you find as many typos as you could?
Your writing tracker can answer those questions and keep you productive. It can do so by keeping you from repeating tasks over and over. Think of it as a to-do list for each piece of your writing. Your work is important to you and you need to control your process. If you don’t have one, sit down, think through your writing process and list each step. Then yoy begin ticking off the steps you have completed. It’s worth the time and effort to do that. After all, you don’t want your writing to drive you crazy. Also, if you are like me, you have limited time to write. You don’t want to waste a moment by doing something two or even three times. So take the time to create a writing tracker and follow it. You will be glad you did.