All these statistics are great, but what can you do with them? Well, if you’re like me — you have my sympathies — you record the numbers, and then graph them at the end of the year.
Yes, it’s a sickness.
But seriously, it’s a good idea to track your daily work, if for no other reason than to convince the IRS you’re really working next time you get audited.
It’s also helpful to go back and see how long it really took you to finish that last project, and where you had long lags in productivity. That way, when a publisher asks you how quickly you can write a book, you’ll have some numbers on which to base your guess.
I keep a file called Productivity within each project where I enter the date, hours worked, and words written, plus any notes about the type of work I did on the project that day (writing, revisions, query letters, plotting, and so on) and sometimes what part of the manuscript I worked on.
At the end of each day, I enter all the separate project word and time counts into a calendar, and then compile the numbers in a spreadsheet so that I can look at my month and year as a whole.