One word after another, that’s how you write a book.

There is a lot more to it than that, of course, but getting a decent amount of words down on paper or screen is what writers strive for each day, and keeping track of a manuscript’s word count can help you to build and keep momentum and enthusiasm for your work-in-progress.

I’ve found that visual tools for keeping track of word counts are very effective. So not only is it a good idea to know your word count goal (daily, weekly, monthly, and overall for the manuscript) and to know how much you’ve written so far, but it’s also a good idea to have a visual approach so you can see your overall progress at a glance.

To help with keeping track visually, I’ve designed a fun and interactive tool exactly for this purpose. I’ve used this tool myself to write numerous books, and now I’m going to share it with you…

It’s called a Word Count Progress COLOURING MAP.

Yep, a colouring map. Colouring because you colour it in, and map because it shows you the way to your goal and the progress you have made.

It’s simple, and fun. 🙂

And most of all, it’s effective, because it stimulates the action-reward system in the brain, encouraging you to write more words more often.

How does a colouring map work and what does it look like?

Here’s an example. The first picture is the map, the second is partially completed, and the third is completed… representing your novel’s progress from beginning to end.

Each section is equivalent to 1000 words (or whatever amount you prefer to allocate to it). So every time you write 1000 words, you colour a section, and keep doing that until all sections are complete.

It’s a great feeling at the end of a writing session to check your word count and instead of just saying to yourself (or posting on social media): “Yay, I wrote 2000 words today!”, you colour in 2 sections. You could even post on social media a picture of your map as it develops, as a fun way to share your progress with your readers and followers.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t do it perfectly with beautiful colour combinations and artistic flair, the purpose is to have fun with it and make progress with your goals. But of course, if you want to use a pre-planned colour arrangement, sparkly gel pens, glitter, and stickers too, then go for it! You may even have a frame-worthy piece of art by the time it’s complete, to acknowledge your completed book. You could display this on your wall, or even sign it and provide it as a unique giveaway for a reader along with your book.

Whether you’re just about to start a book, or are half-way through, you can make use of a colouring map. If you’ve already tallied up a few thousand words or so, simply colour in the appropriate number of sections all at once, and then begin colouring again as you continue to write, 1000 words and one section at a time.

You can even use the maps for tracking other goals too. Some examples might be:

  • Colour one section for every day that you have a writing session.
  • Colour one section for every day that you exercise.
  • Colour one section for every book that you read.
  • Colour one section for every five or ten pages you edit.
  • Colour one section for every happy milestone in your career.

Can you think of any others? I’d love to hear them!

As an author and a colouring book illustrator, I’ve created a set of ten hand-drawn, one-of-a-kind word count progress colouring maps to get you started, and will create more according to demand.

There are maps for word count goals of 100,000 words, 80,000 words (the length of most novels), and also 50,000 words (the average length of a category romance novel), and 20,000 words (novella or children’s book for example). You can also mix amd match, using two maps to create a different word count total, or you can adjust the word count allocation for each section by doubling or halving. Eg: A 50,000 section map could also be used for a 100,000 word manuscript if you colour one section for every 2000 words you write.

Each map I’ve created has instructions on it and how many sections there are so you don’t have to count them yourself. Simply print out the one you wish to use, stick it up on your wall, fridge, or a magnetic board, and start writing and colouring! Don’t forget to show me your progress and results by tagging me if you share your maps on social media (Facebook / Twitter @Juliet_Madison / Instagram, and/or use hashtag #colouringmap or #coloringmap)

Here is a sample of the illustrations in the set of ten maps… you will receive each picture as a good quality full size page with instructions and word count, ready for printing.

photo 1

To protect my work as an artist, I ask that you keep these for yourself for personal use only and don’t share with anyone else, though you may share photos of your colouring map progress. If you love using your maps, please share the link to this post or my website with your friends who would also benefit from this word count tool.

>>> To get your set of ten right away and start colouring, I’m making them available for the low introductory price of only $5.55 (AUD). That’s around half a dollar per map! You can continue to print these as often as you like for as many books as you wish to write (or goals you wish to track). If there are any particular images or word count maps you would like to see me create, just let me know, and as I create more I’ll upload new sets for download… perhaps for specific genres as well.

To take advantage of this introductory offer, click the ‘Buy Now’ button to purchase via PayPal (you don’t need a PayPal account), and the secure link to download your maps will be sent to your email address right away.

Buy Now

Love this idea? Share this page with your friends or send them to this URL: https://writingmojoacademy.com/2017/03/26/a-unique-way-to-track-your-word-count 

Happy writing and colouring!

~ Juliet


Juliet Madison is a bestselling and award-nominated author of fiction in multiple genres, a colouring book artist, a self-help author, and a self-empowerment coach and writing coach/tutor. She started writing seriously in 2009 while home-schooling her teenage son, got her first contract in 2012, and has since had fifteen books published internationally with publishers in Australia, America, and Croatia, and books available in print, ebook, and audio, with more coming in 2017. Juliet is not only passionate about writing, but about helping other writers succeed and become the best they can be, both in terms of their work and their personal satisfaction. With a health science degree and past career in the health industry, she has experience working one-on-one with a variety of people. Her counselling training and coaching experience combined with her business experience and marketing training gives her a unique approach that is both compassionate and understanding, and proactive and results-oriented.  She lives on the picturesque south coast of NSW, Australia, and is represented by literary agent Joelle Delbourgo.