M.L. Humphrey is a former stockbroker with a degree in Economics from Stanford and an MBA from Wharton who has spent close to twenty years as a regulator and consultant in the financial services industry. She is also a self-published author with non-fiction, fantasy, and romance titles under a variety of pen names.

You can reach her. at [email protected] or at mlhumphrey.com.

Excel for Writers by M.L. Humphrey

Do you want to be a writer? Would you like to be more organized about your writing, but not sure where to start? Then Excel for Writers is the book for you.

It'll walk you through how to use Excel to (1) track your time spent writing and your word count, (2) calculate your potential income with both a trade publishing contract and a short story sale, (3) visually track your short story submission results, (4) use Excel to analyze a multi-viewpoint novel, and (5) much more.

If you have a basic understanding of Excel, this guide will show you the ways you can use Excel to support your writing. Each worksheet includes detailed commentary and step-by-step instructions on how to create your own version.




It probably has something to do with my background from before I started to write seriously, but I've always used Microsoft Excel to help me track and analyze my writing.

From the very first day, I've tracked my time spent on writing each day as well as my word count. And at the end of each year I've looked at key metrics to see if I'm writing more or less than in previous years and if my writing speed has improved or is holding steady.

When I started to submit short stories (when I was still on the trade publishing path), I tracked key information about the stories I wrote, the markets I submitted them to, and the results of those submissions.

When I finished the first draft of my first novel and realized it was horrible, I used Excel to analyze the chapters and viewpoint shifts to see what wasn't working.

And then of course were the moments when I wondered what it would really take to make a profit at this whole thing and I sat down to calculate what different levels of sales would net me. (Always a scary calculation and one you probably shouldn't make if it will influence your decision to keep writing.)

All of this was done using Excel and it's what we're going to walk through in this guide.

Specifically, we will build worksheets that:

1.Track Time Spent Writing and Word Count
2.Compare Year-to-Year Writing Metrics
3.Project Potential Income Based on Trade Publishing a Novel
4.Calculate Short Story Income Based on Word Count and Pay-Per-Word
5.List Short Stories Completed
6.List Short Story Markets
7.Track Short Story Submission Results
8.Analyze Chapters and Scenes for a Novel
9.Track Character Names