Remember this ad? When I was growing up (long before cigarette ads were a no-no) these ads were everywhere–which says way too much about my age. 🙂 Still, this particular bit of marketing genius has been stuck in my head this week.
You see, I finished the edits on my first manuscript. Not a ginormous accomplishment from the fifty thousand foot view. But from where I stand? HUGE.
I won’t bore you with the details, but this baby’s been re-written four times:
- My original, “I don’t have a clue what I’m doing, but hey, at least I’m trying,” version.
- My second, “Oh, you mean I can’t change the character’s point of view in the middle of scene, and it needs to be less than a hundred thousand words?” version.
- My third, “Hmm, so this is what it means to plot,” version.
- And my final, “This baby’s hummin’ now,” version.
Ok, so maybe I’m the only one who thinks it’s hummin’ at this point. But if there’s one thing I can say when I compare version one to version four? You’ve come a long way, baby. And, hopefully, I’ll be able to take everything I’ve learned into book two so I only have to write it twice. (Definitely has to be twice, because version one’s already done. LOL.)
Finishing the manuscript wasn’t the only event that gave me perspective on my progress as a writer in the last year and a half. I also had the chance to work with another author who’s where I was about a year ago. She was looking for a critique partner to bounce her writing off of and, even though I have two lovely partners in crime already, I told her I’d give it a shot.
The experience really fed me. I had the opportunity to share with her some of the amazing tidbits of wisdome people have shared me. And it brought into focus just how far I’ve come.
Am I setting the world on fire? No, not yet anyway. But I am growing. Constantly learning.
I think my pit bull mentality sometimes prevents me from seeing this. I get so wrapped up in the task-du-jour and jumping on to whatever ritual comes after it that I fail to savor actual growth. And that’s a habit I want to break.
What about you? Do you take time out between projects to pat yourself on the back and appreciate your progress? What are some milestone “wins” you’ve had lately and how did you celebrate?.