Sorry I've been terrible about posting for Alex's amazing blogfest!
With writing, one of the most challenging things for someone structure-oriented is the lack of tangible measurements. When you're starting, there are no external deadlines, no grades, no red lettered feedback.
Throughout many of my writing days, I'd churn out words and with a round of editing, cut them. Often, it felt as though I wasn't making progress. Once my novel was finished, I was cutting entire chapters. Even when an entire book was "done", it was nowhere near ready to be sent anywhere. (My first manuscript will always hang out where it belongs: in the safe folders of my computer.)
When will I know I'm done? I wondered. When will that mental checkpoint be fulfilled? Will I always be a person who loves this without producing anything?
As someone who enjoys physically crossing things off of a list, this became frustrating at times.
It took time for me to realize that I'll never technically be done. That's the intricacy of art. I couldn't think of it the way I did science. Art can be revised forever, if allowed. Once I've gotten more skill, with the help of critique partners and an agent, maybe I'll be able to gauge when something is good enough to see the light.
Measurements aren't the point. Even sitting in front of the computer, trudging through those blurry, mental cobwebs, is something.
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