The Why of Progress Reports

Sometimes I post updates on here about my various writing projects. This isn’t of those updates, though. Rather, it’s a post about such updates. That is to say, I wanted to share some thoughts on updating the world on one’s writing.

I’ve heard plenty of people say that unless you’re famous, nobody cares about what you’re working on, how it’s proceeding, and what issues you may be having with it. I think the various messages boards, and the success of Nanowrimo negate that viewpoint somewhat, but I concede that unless one is a writer, concerns about someone’s writing progress may not be the most engaging material to read. Usually.

Yet, as I said, I post updates everyone once in a while. Sometimes it’s because I feel better about a problem when I let the world know about it. Sometimes it’s a matter of quasi-accountability; I let the world know about a writing goal of mine, and I am more likely to accomplish it. But another, less obvious reason I share how things are going sometimes is to demonstrate that I am a writer even when I am not in the actual process of writing.

Not that you didn’t believe me. I’m sure you did. Still, letting the world know every once in a while that I am ahead of schedule for my short story, or behind schedule on my novel is part of my writer’s identity, if you will. I am more than a writer, but as a writer I want to make it clear that my work is not simply an internal consideration. I’m laboring to accomplish demonstrable outcomes here. The work I produce will hopefully make its way someday to readers who will enjoy it. Like the body builder who shares his lifting program, or the amateur cook that blogs about how the latest recipe worked out, I keep the readers of this blog informed as to where I am every now and then, with various projects. It makes it all seem more real, in a way, even if those posts aren’t the most exciting posts I’ll ever write.

Plus, writing isn’t always pretty. There are struggles, pain, problems, hindrances. A serious writer gets his hands dirty, skins his knees, loses sleep, stubs his toe on a regular basis. I don’t need a medal for that. I just want to share the struggles as well as the successes. And all of the progress in between. It’s a process. It’s a job. It’s a marathon, (even if you write flash fiction sometimes.) Letting all of you know how I’m doing doesn’t make it any easier, nor does it make me a hero. It just makes me another artist, and indeed another person in the world that puts energy and time into something they believe in. Someone that shares the journey with the curious and the not so curious. Not every stop is am attraction. Sometimes you just need to stop for gas, and take a leak, and reprogram the GPS.

That’s a bit reason why I let you know how far I’ve gotten any given week. I encourage any writer with a blog to do the same thing, and no worry about whether or not such posts are interesting. Get your progress, or lack thereof out there. Share with us in the world. We writers will understand.


  1. I understand completely. Sometimes I refrain from posting updates because who cares, right? But I care, and it does help keep me accountable. I made a progress page for my blog just so that I don’t forget this.

    As for why I’m commenting on your blog at 3:20 am, I am once again sick and unfortunately, sick in a way that requires me to stay up. 😛 Ugh. Thank goodness for the internet, right?

  2. Laura, will you please stay well for a few days? =) But yes good point; if you care, it’s worth doing, no matter who you are or what one is updating to the world. Besides is we become well known someday, people will flock to read what our progress was on any given project. =)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: