Progress – how should it be measured?

UPDATE – The Frienemy Review

Word count, achievement, or sanity?

If it didn’t feel so awkward I would pat myself on the back for a little longer – 5 months in and I’m 36,000 words done! That’s over halfway through in word count. In tale, well – nearly. We’re still teetering but we’ll soon totter.

At least that’s how I felt when I first sat down to write this post. I’ve since looked into the words per day – 208. There’s no point fluffing it up nice, since June 5th I’ve achieved 208 words per day.

It is an amazing total – utterly staggering. I am actually quite glad that I was sitting down when I discovered my achievement – 208.

Hideous numbers.

Then, I looked into page count but I quickly decided that page numbers were inaccurate due to cuts, additions, and re-jiggs, and this subsequently cast doubt on my total words due to all the cuts, additions, and re-jiggs ahead.

So I’m not halfway through – I don’t know what ‘halfway through’ is with regards to words and pages, everything is in flux – all I’m left with is 208 words per day. 7,200 words per month, which sounds better, but it is still only 208 words per day.

Hideous numbers.

I wish I hadn’t worked them out.

I’ve got excuses – my birthday, Las Vegas, work and being dog tired – but they are just excuses at the end of the day.

Although, with all that said, they’re a good 208 words…

So, neither word count nor page count – how else might I measure progress?


Well, I’m at 13 of 32 – 3 off halfway through – so that’s something.

Chapter 16 is pretty much where the teeter begins to totter, but all this thinking of the entirety of Frienemy the Tale has made me question where the middle is, and in turn my New Year deadline, which requires a little more than 208 words to now achieve…

Of the middle of the tale, I’m going to say 17 / 18, their divide, but I’m no where near yet. Sure, within words they will finally arrive where it happens but stuff’s got to go down first…

Knowing, though, of what I know of this year, and looking back at what I’ve done, I can’t help but feel that I’ve got it this time.

Drastic cuts – a full, at least near enough to be it, chapter 1 to 6 rewrite followed by a swarm of additions and re-jigs to complement the rewrite, have found me upon the scalp of 13 pondering how Julian learns something he doesn’t yet know he needs to know.

Originally, he already knew that he needed to know it so it was simple, too simple – how did he know?

They get it now, my people – I get it.

We all get it and it is a glorious party.

Are they looking back at me frowning? No, no more – now, each one (so far) is trotting on and not looking back at all.

When upon the horizon a rewrite brews – its dark clouds bubbling – they slow and we hunker down together and get through.

We seem to preempt each other now – we seem to agree, which is a novel experience.

I’ve found a common ground with the people I’ve created in my head.

Isn’t that the true measure of insanity, or is it my arguing with them for 5 years?

I don’t feel crazy – I feel less crazy. I feel like I’ve got my shit tight – am I testing fate?

Did you hear that?


Tomos James