Writing is a tricky thing sometimes. If we were all embarking on an athletic endeavor, there would be timed tests and ways to see an increase in strength. This is a bit more difficult to assess in writerland.
But it is something we need to try to do anyway. We need to see that the work is worth it. For instance, I have some writer buddies doing NaNoWriMo who have already passed the 20k mark. We are on day five people! I have about as much of a chance of accomplishing this as catching a touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers.
Growth as writers, however, is about more than the speed of word count. When I was plotting my novel for NaNoWriMo, I realized that this time around, with a new story, I could think of deeper conflicts, was aware of ways to create a story that could unfold better the first time around rather than the second or third. One of my characters in an early draft of a book liked books. That was her character profile.
The real reason for this post, though, is to help us remember to notice these things. We are our own indicator of getting better, our own judge of the increased strength of our writing. I firmly believe these are things we need to pay attention to, for our own sanity if nothing else. Because while writing faster than Usain Bolt runs the 100 meter is great, there are only going to be a few who can do that. But that doesn't mean the rest of us aren't great as well.
What guidelines to you use to determine the improvement of your own writing? Have you had those moments when you get a little giddy when you have seen the growth?