Measuring Progress

When I first started working, I had a lot of wrong ideas about progress. Most of them stemmed from the types of jobs I was doing at the time. It was all about numbers. Progress was measured by how much work you did. On the surface, quality never really figured into it. As I gained more skills and work experience, I got better higher paying jobs. Progress was still measured by the amount of work I did but quality played a more important role in things. If you wanted to get a raise or promotion, you had to not only do all your work but do it well.  It was still about the amount of work you did mattered more than how well you did the work. Eventually, I established what I would call a healthy work ethic where I balanced quality and quantity.

When I first started writing, I took a step backwards in my thinking. Once again, it became about the amount. Did I write two thousand words today? How much time did I spend writing? This mentality was reinforced by my fellow writers, editors, and other professionals in the business. It entered into my mind whenever I had a deadline but this kind of thinking is a trap. It should be about quality as much as it is quantity. I would rather write a thousand words I’m proud of than write six thousand words of crap. That’s how I approach writing. Each day, I write as much good stuff as I can. Some days, that’s a lot. Other days, it’s not nearly enough. This mindset has caused me to miss one deadline but I think it’s worked out for the best.

Okay, so now you know where my head is at when I’m writing. If you feel like torturing yourself, you can read the unedited first chapter of Redemption Song. With any luck, it and Crossroads will be released sometime in September.

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