Daily Writing Challenge for Francine Brevetti
The version of the browser you are using is no longer supported. Please upgrade to a supported browser.Dismiss

We're moving to a new document in April!

Welcome to the Magic Spreadsheet (as it has come to be called). The goal here is to develop a consistent, daily writing habit of at least 250 words per day.
Why 250? I stole the number from an interview with Cory Doctorow. It's short enough that you have no excuse to miss a day (you can blast it out in 15 minutes
if that's all the time you have), but long enough that you'll have a 90,000 word novel by the end of the year.

Directions: find an open track and add your name. Find the February sheets on the tabs below--FebSC if you're a Stonecoaster, any of FebISBW sheets
if you're a listener of I Should Be Writing or the new G+ sheet if you found your way here from Google+ . Fill in your daily word count along the top line (words).
The rest is calculated for you. Please remember this is a *shared* spreadsheet. Any formatting or changes you make will affect everyone. Stick to your own track.

IF YOU CAN'T FIND AN OPEN TRACK--leave a comment below or on the FB page. I check here and FB every day. I don't always check every sheet.

You earn one point for every day you write at least 250 words, plus one point for every day in your unbroken chain (capped at 30). So, for instance,
on day one you'd earn two points (one for writing 250 words, one for establishing a chain of length one), on day two you'd earn three points (one
point for 250 words again, plus two points for a chain of length two), and so on. If you miss a day, you drop back to zero.

You earn bonus points for writing more words: 250 words = one point, 500 words = two points, 1000 words = three points, 2000 words = four points.

You will earn far more points for hitting your daily minimum consistently than from writing in bursts. Someone who hits the minimum every day for
a month will write 7,250 words but earn nearly 500 points. Someone who writes 2,000 words every other day will end the month with 30,000 words
but only 75 points. Big difference. Consistency is key.

The tracks are color-coded to help make it clear which areas you should update (white or light-gray) and which areas are computed for you (blue or yellow).

Green means you have leveled-up. You need to type in your new level yourself to level up. The number in the green box (1) is the number to add to
your current level in the light-colored box just above it. For example, if you're Level 1 and you're ready to level-up to Level 2, the column next to your
your name should look like this:
250 (current quota)
1 (current level, this box will be white or light gray)
1 (number of levels to go up, this box will be green!)
You need to type "2" in the light-colored box. The green box will disappear and your quota will go up. The column next to your name should look like this now:
300 (new quota)
2 (new level)
(empty box, now blue or yellow, depending on your track)

If you want to personalize your track with funky colors, please stick to the white/light-gray areas.

There's now a designated spot for your twitter handle or blog.

There's a spot for the title of your current project. If you specify a target word count, your words remaining will be updated for you.

When you hit 495 points you can level up. This is optional, but it never hurts you to level up, so you should do it.
Your level quota will be bumped by 50 words/day (from 250 to 300). But don't panic! You can keep an unbroken
chain by writing 250 words/day. Your chain bonus will be capped at 30 points/day though. If you hit your new
level quota (300), your chain bonus can reach as high as 60 points. That's to encourage you to eke out those
few extra words (only 50 more words! up to 30 more points!), but you can always just knock out 250 and call it a day.

There's a FB group now: https://www.facebook.com/groups/587685967914413/ if you want to comment or ask questions.
This page is locked -- no more questions/comments here, please. If you're not on Facebook, feel free to email me: tony AT hawaiishakes DOT org.
The Official Color Coding of the Official Hierarchy of Spreasheet PurityThe Magic Spreadsheet Facebook Group - Join up!
Level 2 = 495; Level 3 = 1,890; Level 4 = 4,215; Level 5 = 7,470; Level 6 = 11,655; Level 7 = 16,770; Level 8 = 22,815; Level 9 = 29,790; Level 10 = 37,695;
Level 11 = 46,530; Level 12 = 56,295; Level 13 = 66,990; Level 14 = 78,615; Level 15 = 91,170; Level 16 = 104,655; Level 17 = 119,070; Level 18 = 134,415; Level 19 = 150,690; Level 20 = 167,895;
Level 21 = 186,030; Level 22 = 205,095; Level 23 = 225,090; Level 24 = 246,015; Level 25 = 267,870; Level 26 = 290,655
Thanks to Mark Lindberg for these numbers showing how many points we need to level-up.
He had them posted over on the FB page but I thought it would be a good idea to put them where people could find them more easily.
I just listened to the podcast about this and this looks really cool! Looking forward to giving this a try - Kelly/Netbug
Kelly - yes, give it a try. I don't see any updates from you yet, so let me know if you have questions or issues. --Tony
This has been amazing over the last week. I have never had this kind of consistent writing streak... even during NaNoWriMo. Thank you for setting this up! -Matt McCabe
Matt - you're welcome! Glad it's working for you. Keep it up! --Tony
This has been incredible. I would just like to say a big thanks to whoever created this. --Mark L.
Mark - you're welcome! I created it (with some help on the formulas from my local witing group), but Mur is the one you should be thanking. She's the one who named it "the Magic Spreadsheet" and insisted I share it with all you ISBW folks. Welcome aboard! --Tony
I'm 3 days in and, I must admit, had it not been for this I would not have written any of those days. The 250 word minimum makes it attainable. Looking forward to developing a regular writing habit. Thanks so much for putting this together! - Ellie
Ellie - you're welcome! You're so right about the attainability of 250 words. I've lost count of how many daily writing resolutions I've made to hit 500, 1000 or 2000 words a day, only to miss a day and then give up, but 250 is doable. No excuses, keep going! --Tony
Another fine tool to help me write. I decided to jump in today and far exceeded my goal, all because I just sat down to start writing. Thanks for doing this, Tony! Also, thanks to Mur and her podcast for alerting me to this.
Glad it inspired you. Now make sure you write tomorrow. And the next day. And the next .... --Tony
I've been fighting to find motivation for a while now to get back into a daily program instead of just a binge and this has done it. It's the whole game/competition about it. Love it. One suggestion, you've got the frames locked at the top so we always see the header, can you adjust that so the lock also includes the cells with our names and points on it? - P.C. Haring
P. C - I *think* you're asking to freeze the left-hand columns so they're visible when you scroll right. If so, I've done that (and good suggestion). If you meant something else, let me know. Glad you're enjoying the game aspect (though I think that's just one small part of the magic). Stick around for February. I've figured out leveling-up and I'll roll that out next month. -- Tony
Hey, Tony. Still loving it. Even if I'm tired and haven't done my words for the day, I'll sit down and write before going to bed. I can here you reminding me, "Don't forget to get your words in." Thanks, Tony.
Happy to be the voice in your head before you go to bed :) -- Tony
Tony, I love it. I've never wrote so much in my life and it's all thanks to this spreadsheet. Also props to Mur for highlighting this on her show - Daniel
Daniel -- that's great. Keep it up. And yes, props to Mur, always. -- Tony
Tony - You NAILED what I was asking for on the freeze panes. Looking forward to the leveling up. - P.C.
Great. Thanks for the suggestion. --Tony
Tony is awesome. - Mur
Mur is awesome. But this is not news to anyone. --Tony
Tony, this is amazing. Thank you for putting so much thought and effort into this and making it available for all of us to use.
I've been tracking my writing on my own spreadsheet for a while, but having this one out here under peer review adds a certain urgency to keeping up with my writing.
Thank you. You are awesome. — Derek C.
Derek - You're welcome. I'm glad it's working for you. Like you say, the peer pressure from the community is a big part of the magic. Having all of you here makes it more useful for me too. -- Tony
Thank you for patiently answering all of our questions. I love the name of your book, and I already want to read it. Also, gamification is totally awesome, and you're putting in some incredible work to make this more and more fun and motivating for all of us. So, thanks again. --Mark
Mark - You're welcome. I'll let you know when the book is published :) I don't want to tip my hand, but I have some more gamification ideas for the spreadsheet--but I want to make sure it stays focused on getting writers to write. There's always the possibility that game becomes to fun and detracts from the actual goal. NaNoWriMo can get like that for me sometimes. --Tony
I'm sure you're still working on it, but I think your ISBW 2 Sheet for february is pulling the wrong point totals down from the January sheet. My february formula is pointing to cell C111 when my points are actually in row 248 or some such. - P.C.
P.C. - Yep, still working on it. It's a tedious process. I've got the FebSC sheet done. I'll get the FebISBW sheets done today.-- Tony
FebISBWthree doesn't look like it has the formulas in the lower ones? - Abra 2/1/13
Abra - Good catch. Should be fixed now. -- Tony
Thanks, Tony! Betcha didn't plan on taking on a new part-time job when you started this.... ;) - Abra
Abra - You're welcome! Yeah, the whole shared document thing is pretty brittle. Once the web version is up and running it should easier to maintain. In the meantime, I love hearing how it's working for other folks. And of course my own motivation for never missing a day has gone through the roof now that there's so many people here. -- Tony
Tony, I left a message about a month ago and wanted to renew my thanks. :) I've also coaxed some friends into joining in so I can harrass them when they don't write for a day or two. Thanks again for all the time you continue to spend on this. I feel like the spreadsheet has grown up since I joined just over a month ago. - Ellie
Ellie - You're very welcome. Glad it's working for you and your friends :) --Tony
Tony, I'm telling folks about the Magic Spreadsheet; the fact that it is so simple AND has such a workable goal is what makes it work. It's genius. Thank you so very much for being awesome and making this work. - Veronica
Veronica - Awesome. Glad it's working for you. And you're welcome -- Tony
I just heard about this via the ISBW podcast and I love the idea. I haven't written for many days- too long and this is really great for incentive. Thanks for giving me a great Birthday. I've already got my words in for the 12th and an hoping for more. Thanks again! - J. Lee (Jen)
Jen - Happy Birthday! And you're welcome! --Tony
Can somebody tell me the difference between "consistency" and "chain", please? For most they seem to be equal, but where the diverge, I can't seem to fathom the reason. Thanks, - John
John - It's a subtle but important distinction. If you hit your quota every day, there *is* no difference. They diverge only after you've leveled up, and only if you miss your quota. Your chain will increase as long as you hit the daily minimum (250 words, no matter what). Consistency will be throttled.-- Tony
I just found this via ISBW & the Facebook Group...I NEED this in my life!!! - deb o. "bklynwriter"
Deb -- Great! Good luck! -- Tony
Tony - So at level two, it's the difference between hitting 250 and 300 words in a day? - John
John -At Level One, your consistency is capped at 30. At Level Two, your cap is lifted to 60, but your quota goes up to 300/day. If you only write 250, you'll still increase your chain (you don't get points for that), but your consistency (which you do earn points for) will be capped at 30, as if you were still Level One. --Tony
Ah, I see. Thanks! - John
You're welcome! I'm about to lock this page for editing, so if you have any more questions, hop on over to the Facebook group. -- Tony
Main menu