Sheryl R. Hayes

Figuring out writing one word at a time.

Gauging Progress Without A Measuring Tape

Shortly before I left on vacation, I finished draft three of my novel.  Shortly after that, I finished knitting a scarf.  As I ran my fingers over the scarf to search for any loose ends to sew in, I was struck by the difference I felt between the two accomplishments.

When I knit, I am working on a physical item that I watch grow with each row added. I hold it in my hands and measure it’s progress by running my fingers over it. When I’m done with a project, I have a scarf to wear, a toy to cuddle, or a blanket to keep me warm. There is something tangible to point to and say ‘I made this.’

With my writing, my progress isn’t as visible to me. I do have three drafts of my novel completed, but they are all ones and zeros on my hard drive and in the cloud. I don’t have a completed something to hold in my hands, and I won’t until I get to the proof stage. Watching the word and page count grow isn’t quite the same thing as watching the row count grow.

The more I think about it, the I’m not sure if there’s any way to deal with this feeling. I know that I have accomplished a lot in the two years that I have been working on this book. I just don’t have anything that looks like a published book yet. It would help if the publishing fairy showed up and left tokens beneath my pillow every time I hit another milestone.

1 Comment

  1. It’s that Instant Gratification. Sight versus written/reading words. You can see an object so much faster. I think this is why it’s hard to find good beta readers and easier to find people to Red Line a drawing.

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