The question might be asked (at least I ask it of myself), how we measure our progress as writers. How we know if we are getting any better at this work that we do.
My son, for example, has been writing now for years, and with every script, every story, every poem, the progress is measurable and thrilling. Stories with more alluring shape, dialogue with smarter tags, back stories painlessly transitioned into then eased away from, subtleties that move and surprise me.
But my own work? How is progress made and measured? Who is the judge, and who should be? All these books into a career, I know more quickly when I'm trotting down on a wrong narrative path, and so that, I imagine, is progress. I know which echoes are too easily fallen into, which rhythms I want to avoid, which authors I still envy (and envy, in this case, is just another kind of love), which words might move like lyrics but obscure the deeper truths, but still, in the end, each work trembles its way toward the world, while I sit here, and wonder, still fragile.
Progress? How is it measured?
Causes Beth Kephart Supports
PumpAid St. Christopher's Foundation for Children National Book Foundation's BookUpNYC Dancing Classrooms