Progress Is Progress, No Matter How Small

Measuring progress as a writer is tricky. You can count words or time or pages. When revising a novel those measurements get trickier. Word counts are deceptive when you delete as many words as you add. So do you count pages? What about when you  have to go back 80 pages because of a plot hole you discovered? And it takes time to figure out how to fix the plot hole. Progress is progress, no matter how small. But it isn’t easy to quantify.

Graphic Image of a tree with branches labeled goals, strategy, team, marketing, etc. With all these things going on progress is progress no matter how small.


Since I did not complete any of my April Intentions for Making, I could count this month as a failure.

I count words added, words deleted, and time spent. I also keep track of what chapter I’m working on and the book’s total word count. Most importantly, I look at all of those over time.

This month I found and solved a plot hole. That meant I had to revisit seven chapters I’d already revised.

Staying focused was more difficult this month so the blogging suffered. But I was able to put up something every week.

One of the new bits from If I Should Die

“It’ll be daylight by then.” Miranda chewed her lower lip and decided. “You, Karl, and Sean should leave now, while it’s still dark. I’ll stay here with Ethan.”


Image of a weight scale with an alarm clock balanced with stacks of coins balancing all the duties of a writer

Lots of bits and pieces of things end up in the Managing category. 

I did much better on reading this month: Finished one fiction book, Started and finished a second fiction book.

I read and critiqued a friends novelette.

Maintained the website as far as updates and even added a new page.

Unfortunately, I discovered a problem on the backend of the website that is messing with my stats. Still working on resolving that one.


Lo and behold, I met my marketing intentions this month. Still need more sales but…sigh. I’ll probably say that for the rest of my life.


On April 14th I started celebrating my immunity day (the day my COVID-19 vaccines reached maximum immunity). Things I did to celebrate included taking my grandson on two outings, meeting a friend for lunch inside a restaurant, and getting a haircut at a salon. That was the first time in 15 months that someone other than me cut my hair. And you can tell. 

I have times when I feel productive and almost normal. Several times a week—wham! A tornado of grief hits. Other times I’m in a fugue state where I have no energy or focus. Often the fugue state follows a grief tornado, but sometimes the fugue state hits without any apparent cause.


I managed to attend a few of my online write-in events and a couple of webinars. 

Compared to Last Month & Last Year

Unsurprisingly, my production and time spent are significantly lower than last year. They are also lower than last month. That surprised me, but shouldn’t have. This month would have been my 28th wedding anniversary. Naturally, that made this month harder emotionally.

What I Learned

I’m learning to be single again. And I’m learning to make decisions based on what makes me comfortable or happy as opposed to making decisions as part of a couple. It’s a journey. If you’re interested in my progress reports you may wish to read my quarterly report.

Going Forward

Image of a wooden sign labeled "Next Step" and pointing forward, it's pointing to progress

My intentions will continue to be smaller than I would do in the past. I am taking the time to honor the emotional journey I’m on. But I’m also trying to move back toward being more productive. So the tasks will be a little larger than in previous months. 

Time marches on and so will I. Progress is progress, no matter how small. Thanks to all of you who read my blog and my books. I appreciate each and everyone of you.


  1. Your circumstances are unique but it’s important for me to remember that any progress is good progress. I’ve been exhausted lately. Could nap 2 or 3 times a day. I don’t really want to do that, since it makes me grumpy but it’s new.

    Could be DST change, could be a reaction to the pain from tendonitis I can’t seem to resolve, but I’m learning to honor how I feel and adjust. thanks

    1. I’m sorry you aren’t feeling in tip-top shape, Louise. Honoring how you feel and what you do despite how you feel are important. I’m glad if my post helped you. Congratulations on your progress on all fronts!

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