Monday, December 3, 2012

Nathan Hale's Calendar

If you're not reading Nathan Hale's blog you should be. He's a wonderful artist and all around creative guy. His posts aren't long and they usually involve a picture he's drawn.

He's also been known to publish whole stories on his blog. Lately, he hasn't done that as much because he's just so busy putting out books.

I'd like to have that problem.

Earlier this week, he shared his calendar. He uses it to track his work. It's simple, useful, and really cool to look at. Here's a quick explanation.

A line coming in from the bottom of a day means he started drawing a page. A line going out the top of a day, means he finished the page. Seriously, look at all those lines. For more details, you need to read and comment on his post.

Not only is it easy to see the work he got done, this feels like a sup'd up version of the Don't Break the Chain method. I love it.

In fact, I've been trying to think how I could adapt it for writing. I was thinking about tracking scenes.

I define a scene as a series of chronological events that happen in one location. This is how I write my stories--scene by scene. I don't put them together into chapters until later in the editing process.

So scenes might work. Of course, they vary in length quite a bit, some of my scenes are just 500 words while others are 5000 words. Still, I don't think that matters. What matters is moving the story forward, not how many words are in the story.

I'm also considering making writing and editing scenes look different somehow. I don't want to complicate things, so I was thinking about writing a "D" or "E" when a line comes in the bottom. In the end, it also doesn't matter if I'm writing or editing as long as the book is progressing, so I'm not sure if I'll need to do this.

The goal is to have a cool visual representation of my progress. Cool enough that the pattern I'm creating will provide motivation to continue the pattern.

So, I'm looking for other people's ideas. What do you think would make for a good calendar tracking system? Also, don't forget to check out Nathan's blog.

* Nathan's calendar image posted with permission.

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