Writing Experiment: Third Report

The Writing Experiment: Third Report will be the last in this series for a while, because…

I’m calling the experiment a success!

I made more progress this month, and I feel confident I’m on the right path. Let’s take a look.


Put simply, I rocked. I worked every scheduled day, on time.


writing rewards tracker
Working well so far

Writing Rewards & Penalties are done, and it’s no wonder I procrastinated. It was quite the task. I admit, I made it harder than needed, because I find a pleasing tracker almost as motivating as a reward.

For those who want my stuff, I apologize I haven’t failed yet. As a reformed own-worst-enemy, I couldn’t make the penalties so harsh that I was spending more time sending my belongings to people than writing. Nor did I want to beat myself down so much that I got used to it, and the penalties didn’t matter any more. Failure of some magnitude is inevitable in any project. I believe I found the balance where the penalties equal the weight of the failure and motivate me to succeed. The penalties are also 100% dependent on actions I control, where failures happen because of my choices. Your prize will be my finished novel.

Pre-Work Checklist

I’ll have a blog post about this next week.

writing goals

Writing Goals


These look much nicer in their own little notebook. I think I have to start putting dates in pencil until I learn more realistic timelines.

I also have a desk blotter calendar where I do use pencil and put my goals (writing and otherwise) on specific dates. While this may qualify as double work, my memory and focus need all the help they can get. I think of it as putting the important things in bold text on my brain.

Timeline/Project Planning

I officially decided my Writing Goals serve as my timeline. While I thought the timeline and project planning were so similar as to count as one, I was wrong. First comes project planning. Then I put the steps for each project on a timeline. Not the same.

Project planning tends to be a messy process for me. I write ideas on notes and scraps of paper (like how I devised my writing rewards) and eventually corral them onto one page. Current projects include this blog, my novel in progress, a short story, editing, and the other blog that hasn’t launched. I have project pages in various states for these, but like posting photos with double, triple, and quadruple chins, I’m not going to show you. You know they’re there. The results are on the calendar.

Third Report Analysis

After a tough February, I reminded myself any progress is good progress. I also gave credit for the work I did and showed compassion for legitimate stumbles.

Planning once again came to the rescue. I incorporated ways to give myself time off when earned and made a tracking and reward system to keep it straight. I show up for work at the scheduled time and do the work planned, so I can progress toward the goals listed. The system is working.

productivity enhancerI don’t know how many times I read/heard the advice to treat writing as a regular job, but I thought myself the exception. Humans are good at that. As often as I feel like a weirdo, I am human. I still have a few interruptions that I wouldn’t have at a regular job, like a demanding cat blocking my view of the screen right now, but I keep working. We’ll see where it takes me by the end of the year.

See my previous posts on this experiment:

Goals Progress

  • Fix new blog theme (another writing project under wraps for now) – 2/23/2018
  • Blog post – 2/28/2018
  • Finish Wired For Story – 2/28/2018
  • Work through The Plot Whisperer Workbook with Claim To Fame – 3/2/2018 3/16/2018 (I was nuts to think I’d finish that quickly)
  • Finalize new blog design – 3/2/2018 3/29/2018 (see above)
  • Blog post – 3/7/2018
  • Work through Outline Your Novel Workbook with Claim to Fame – 3/9/2018 3/30/2018 (more of the same)
  • Add new blog plugins – 3/9/2018
  • Blog post – 3/21/2018
  • Blog post 3/28/2018
  • Mother’s Favorite edit for publication – 3/31/2018
  • Claim To Fame outline complete – 3/31/2018

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