I hate treadmills. Truly I do. You huff and you puff, but you get absolutely nowhere.
That is precisely how my week felt while I was writing my work in progress. I'd set the lofty goal of 1500 words per day. But something was wrong, it just wasn't flowing like normal. I knew exactly where I was going with my story, but it just felt . . . off.
So I spent the last four days rewriting and revising, changing the POV and tense of the first four chapters. We are talking ten hour days people! Yesterday, I lost my marbles. I swore to leave the writing to people who could somehow make sparkly abbed vampires sell millions. What was the point of spending so much time and getting nowhere? My word count only advanced about 1000 for the whole week.
Then today, I had an epiphany. My story felt stilted and unnatural in 1st person present tense because I was so uncomfortable writing it. Same thing in 3rd/past. But when I finished the rewrites in 1st/past, the words stopped being ink on a page. They came alive.
That led me to the next and more life altering epiphany. Sometimes I spend a lot of time doing something without moving forward, but that doesn't mean I'm not moving up. The treadmill work doesn't get me the marathon race medals I love, but it makes me healthier and happier--in the long term, because running on it still sucks. Revising doesn't add the big numbers to the word count, but it adds to the immeasurable quality of the work. And on the days I want to beat my head against the wall after putting my daughter in time out for the 20th time, I am gaining patience. Probably.
I guess the point is that we are always moving until the moment we give up.