Wark! (That’s the noise penguins make.)

I got a lot of editing of my novel done this weekend. I’ve written before about my slight obsession with using percentages to keep track of my progress – I love them, because I know that with a 250 page novel, every 2.5 pages is 1% closer to being done, so even half a page is a useful little step in the right direction. So, another thing that I do is never round up a percentage. I’m currently 84.84% (recurring) away from finishing my current editing run through. To most people that would mean I’m at 85%, but not to me.

I know that for all useful measures I’m really 85% of the way through but what if, next time I work on the novel, I only have time to edit one page? That would mean that I remain at 85% and psychologically it will feel like I’ve gone nowhere. By rounding up, I’m saying I’ve got further than I really have, so the real thrill of acheivement, of getting to that percentage in actuality, would be lost because I’ve already said that I’m there. Sometimes a big piece of work has to be done in the tiniest portions, so emphasising the impact of those snatched moments of work really helps you understand how important they are.

Does that make any sense to anyone else? I don’t like the idea of claiming I’ve done something that I haven’t done, even if it’s only to myself (and perhaps especially to myself). I’d rather put the work in and get the achievement for real. So that’s my tip for life: don’t round up, and never lose sight of the fact that even the smallest bit of progress has got you closer to your goal.

That was all a bit deep and meaningful, wasn’t it?

Woo! Penguins! See you Friday!