For me, writing a novel doesn’t work that way. Maybe that’s why I don’t have so many novels to my name. I’m slow. I delete a lot as I learn about my characters and story (oh, she’s got a sister, let me go back and write that in. Oh, if I write that in, all this other stuff has to change. Oh, maybe I should just rip out this whole section, because here I can show how she is with her sister, and that’s important, not this other stuff.) That’s what my writing day looks like. How the heck would I even begin to count that?
I’m not denigrating fast writers. I struggle with professional jealousy (which looks like this: Whine – “Why can’t I be like ____(fill in name)?”) I do think that some books would be better if they percolated a little longer. And I accept my slowness, though I tend to feel like a tortoise with some very hareish friends. But it is my PROCESS, and the brain is a MYSTERY, and for me to figure out why I am the way I am would be like figuring out why I was born (I could produce a few answers, but who knows which is right?)
This is why I don’t count. I don’t count words, or pages. I assess my productivity by time, how many hours I devote daily to sitting and thinking and writing and editing words in a novel of my own creation. I keep a log. I write down every day that I work, and if I don’t work a day, the reason. I do have a sort of accountability to myself – a self-employed person needs that. But for me, the numbers just aren’t so clear.
What about you? What is your process like? Even if you’re not a writer, do you keep track of your creativity in some way? I’d love to know.