How I Jedi Mind-tricked Myself Into Writing More

So I somehow jedi mind-tricked myself into pushing to write more words each day.

I was trying to create a spreadsheet simply to track how many words I was writing a day and if I was on track for my estimated completion date.


Because I write my rough drafts in Jota (and I think I may be the first person in the world to write an entire novel using an s-pen and jota) the only way I can easily check my word count is by copying and pasting it into Microsoft Word to check my totals. I punch that total word count into my spreadsheet, say 5,070 my latest entry above, and it spits back out at me that I wrote 638 words today and I have 94,930 words left to my (rough) goal of 100,000, how many days I have left – 162, and how many days it’s going to take at my current rate – 149. As you can see, I will be pushing to make it in time for my June 30 completion date.

Shortly after putting this together I decided to add in another column for some extra clarity;

The date I will actually finish while writing at my current rate. Now this is an amazing motivator.

Every time I put in a total I see this go up or down. So when I enter an amount and I see that date move out closer to 30 June, I panic and start thinking “Holy sh!t, I gotta write faster.” It’s the most efficient tool I’ve ever had to motivate me to write.

Now whenever I have a few spare minutes, instead of jumping on facebook or wasting time rearranging my notes in evernote, I think “I know, I can do some writing!” It’s changed my whole process.
It took me some tweaking to get the formulas exactly right – I’m hardly an excel guru – but now it’s like having someone constantly monitoring my work and prodding me every time I slow down. If you’re having trouble motivating yourself to write I highly recommend it.
Stealth out

Posted in writing

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