I’ve held off on writing any sort of update on story progress for one simple reason (besides the obvious one of procrastination):

Every time I think to write an update… my update changes.

Back in January, I was psyched to write about how I’d been crushing my goals at about 2k every morning. I wanted to write about how I thought I finally “got” first drafting… I had some thoughts on that that I figured would be pretty useful for other writers going through the same part of the process.

Then in late January, I hit a wall. Hard, guys. Like, we’re talking crash dummy velocity here. I wanted to write an update about the writer’s block struggles I was facing, and my ideas for pushing through.

By early February, I wanted to write about the angst of struggling with a story you knew you were supposed to write, but that kept proving difficult to write. I wanted to rant about first chapters, first acts, first novels and how much I wished they could all just write themselves.

And now, as we’re here nearing the end of February, as my novel should be 2/3 complete and is instead teetering between either a 10k draft or a 500 word draft, depending on some editorial choices I may or may not be wise to make, I am, simply, writing an update.

I have no grand insights or advice for now, I just need to write this to remind myself, and any other struggling artist out there, that I have made progress.

To quote The Dark Knight: “It’s not the progress I (thought I) deserved, but it’s the progress I needed.”

I wanted to be 66k words into my novel by now, and love every sentence of it. Instead, I’ve been exploring personal failings as relates to writing, my love of it, and my fear of it. I’ve been growing as a writer by putting my butt at my writing desk almost every work morning, and by experimenting to find what works for my vision of The Phoenix Gambit. I’ve been growing as a person by challenging myself, by trying even when I’m frustrated, and by trying to learn how to balance a professional work ethic for my noveling without snuffing out the joy.

So that’s my update, that’s what I’ve been doing, that’s the progress I’ve made. And you know, it’s really not all that bad, when I reflect on it now.

And hey – on the upside, I will, at some point, have some pretty personal posts on overcoming writer’s block, and on first drafting for perfectionists. Once I finish figuring all this out for myself.

Keep on keeping on, writing friends.