It's May! The snow is gone, the geese are getting nasty, and it's time for April Writing Stickers at A Glance!
This is the calendar where I keep track of my writing life. I use stickers. The stars represent poetry, and the other stickers represent a thousand words of fiction. There are different suites of stickers for each book. Just there, on April 28th, you can see the purple feather that marks the red letter day when I started a new novel.
I'm often asked about my stickers. Short version: I LOVE THEM.
The stickers mark my good days with a wee ritual, and motivate me to at least TRY on days when writing sucks and I suck. They make a book seem more manageable -- 100 or so is a draft, which isn't an impossibly huge number -- and they help me keep track of what I did when, which is often useful. For instance I can tell you I did about 19,000 words worth of work on a certain book in January and February. Tax guys and granting agencies sometimes want to know these things.
I started doing this years ago and I think it was an original idea -- though obviously it's not a genius breakthrough or anything. I just borrowed some of the "motivate my three-year-old" stickers and gave them to my inner writing self instead. Since my inner writing self is also three, this was not much of a leap. My then three-year-old is eight now, but my writing self is still three, and will still do the most remarkable things for a sticker. Honestly, there are days when scrubbing the toilet sounds better than writing, but even on those days, I'll write for stickers.
A lot of writers now use a sticker calendar. That makes me almost as happy as cats named Taggle. I often feel useless in the world -- I suppose everyone does -- but every once in a while you can see some small thing take hold and help people. Victoria Schwab is much more eloqent about her sticker than I am about mine. Go watch her vlog about stickers!