Friday, February 18, 2011

Keeping a Log

Yesterday, during a trial run for an authors’ roundtable, I was asked about my writing rituals. Did I have any habits that keep me writing? I do.
One is my writing log. I’ve been writing the date and what I worked on that day in a lined notebook I bought in a drugstore close to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. This was when I first embarked on my book project during my first residency at the VCCA. Initially I emulated Hemingway’s habit by logging how many words I’d written each day; my minimum goal was 500. That worked well when I was writing first draft. Now I am in revision mode, and so I log what chapter I worked on. I get an odd satisfaction from looking at my penciled notations. The log gives me a sense of having worked, and it also makes large gaps in writing all too apparent.


  1. That's a great idea. I'm going to try it. 21 days to make it a habit. Blogging is now a definite habit.

  2. Thanks, Annette.
    The log's a good suggestion. I like the bare-bones outline look of your notebook.
    I've found a site called where you are reminded by e-mail to log in 750 words a day. When I use it to do a draft,story or other creative project, I then copy what I've written to one of my computer files. The site has really kept me writing almost daily since the middle of December when I was told about it by another writer and friend.

  3. Shelly, let me know how it goes!
    Marcia, that site looks interesting. I might try it next time I jump into a long first draft. Thanks!

  4. I LOVE this idea... I'm going to implement 500 words a day minimum once Blogathon is over! And that's just to start. I like having a writing journal to keep me honest (kind of like a food diary, but let's hope I'm more successful than I've ever been with those!).

  5. That really is a great habit. I will try it out.