The Journey: Progress and the Perception of Progress

Progress is such a tricky thing. How do you mark it? How do others perceive it? In my experience, the perception of progress is far from the reality.

When I’m working on a writing project, as I’m sure many other writers can relate, I keep things fairly private. My family and friends know I’m writing, because that’s what I do, but they don’t know much else. My CPs are in the loop, but other than that the progress of my current WIP is pretty elusive.

Progress, for a writer, can mean any number of things. To one writer, progress might mean getting 1,500 words written. Progress to another writer might mean getting a character’s history sorted out. It might be going through a CP’s notes and making changes, small or large. Progress can be as simple as reading a chapter to look for issues. Sometimes, progress is just opening that document and doing something.

As you can see, some of these things cannot be measured or observed. A writer’s progress is often invisible. The perception of progress is often skewed. If you don’t have agent interest, or a finished novel, or several finished novels, you don’t have anything to point to and say I did that. Does that mean you haven’t made any progress?

In the last three years, I have learned more about the craft of writing than 17 years of schooling managed to teach me.

Do I have a project to point to and say This is three years’ work, or This is 17 years’ work? Nope. I do, however, have invaluable experiences under my belt. I have had my work reviewed by HarperCollins editors, I have worked through an entire manuscript with a traditionally published author, and I have worked at a literary agency on books that are now in major bookstores.

Is there anything measurable about my progress right now? Not really, but this is progress I’m really damn proud of. I can point to the last three years and say I did that. I learned that. I can now do this. Hello world! Watch out.

Bree Crowder

Bree Crowder is a writer and editor with interest in fiction (MG, YA, and fantasy), and lifestyle. She went to university to study English, and then went to college at the graduate level to study creative writing. She is an Editorial Literary Assistant with P.S. Literary Agency. She also writes for publications like HelloGiggles, Quirk Books, and Bustle. Writing, reading, photography, and travel are a few of her favourite things.



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