Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Keeping Track

A Fun System…

I heard of this idea from someone, but sadly I can’t remember who, but thank you. A fun idea that harks back to the old childhood days.

And I have never tried it before, and considering how many systems and goofy things I have tried, that’s surprising.

I have a hanging calendar on my wall now, as of tonight, right behind my business computer and right under a fortune cookie saying that is taped there.

And thanks to Office Depot this afternoon, I have about 800 gold stars and about 200 larger colored smiling faces.

So the system is simple. For every 1,000 new words, I put up a gold star on the day. If I don’t get a full thousand words, no gold star. So 2,800 words is 2 stars that day.

Next day I start fresh. Nothing carries over.

For every new project I turn in for copyediting, I get a smiling face.

If I use all 800 gold stars, I will have written at least 800,000 words, so if my plan goes as hoped, I will be buying more gold stars in October or so.

I only count finished, consumable (meaning publishable) words.

I will be reporting on the words and writing and such on the Novel Publishing Challenge weekly video. And on the smiling faces part of the challenge on the Publishing Challenge weekly video.

Could be a lot of fun and will be very, very clear when I miss a day of writing. Yow.

And by the way, the fortune cookie taped above the calendar says:

“Your dream must be bigger than your fear.”

I am sure someone important said that, but only reference I have found is from fortune cookies or self-help programs.

And seems that saying is spot on the money with the new Pop-Up I have been talking about. Spot on.

So off to get some gold stars. And a smiling face (or five) this month.


  • Joseph Cleary


    I’m starting today!

    Fun way to keep track and reward yourself visibly in a way that uses the power of streaks to motivate yourself!

    Thanks, Dean.

  • Dave

    I pay myself a penny per word I write. But I don’t get any pennies unless I hit 1,500 words first. So 1450 words gets me nothing, while 1550 gets me $1.55. I’ve got some bonuses built in for going over 5k or finishing a book and so on. I’m having fun with it.

    To be clear, that’s not income that I pay myself from my writing business. It’s money that I can spend on a fun hobby of mine that I sometimes spend too much on.