A lot of writers laugh indulgently at the pile of rambling grammatical errors that is their first book, and try hard not to think too hard about whether or not their current work in progress will be just as eye-rollingly embarrassing a little while down the track. For those who’ve been around the traps for a while, here is an article on some signs that actually you HAVE made progress. The Intern (who knows her stuff) reckons these are strong indicators that you’re close to success (“close” being a somewhat relative term). Here’s one I think is particularly pertinent (given my plaintive cries to the world of, “If you don’t enjoy writing, DON’T WRITE”):
4. They value improvement for its own sake.
The soon-to-be-agented writers get just as excited about the prospect of finally nailing that subplot/scene/ending/character as they are about the possibility of getting an agent and book deal. The manuscript isn’t a means to an end (“get me an agent and a book deal and faaaame!”) but a thing worth perfecting in itself, because it is right and proper to do your craft well.
Love for the craft is a strong indicator of future success because it means that the writer in question is more likely to carry on in the face of the inevitable stumbles and disappointments—to hang in there long enough to get to the “agented” stage.
Read the rest here. Number five is particularly good.