This is a lot like publishing.
Once I made the decision to become a published author of my dreams, I wanted it now (and, for the most part, pretty much got that. If we disregard the first 20 years of noodling around...) and once I got an offer in hand, I wanted to see my book in print now. Or get the ARC now. Or the copy edits now. Or my editor's letter now. Or my publishing date...
You get the picture.
But it doesn't happen "now" (and doesn't happen at all if you don't start and stick with it). It takes time, a looooong time! An excruciating, frustratingly nebulous, torturous amount of time. It is a million little baby steps out of a million different conscious decisions that may have no immediately measurable results until you look back and see how far you've come. It takes years. No one really knows how long. It can be frustrating doing everything I can to be a "good writer": writing every day, reading lots, joining groups, going to conferences, learning, investing, working on websites and trailers and marketing ideas and following up on leads and contacts and new ideas...and have nothing solid to show for it. Nothing to point to and say "Look! See that? That is *concrete evidence* that what I'm doing is working. This will get results!" And, without a tardis, I can't make the time go faster.
What I really want is a loose pair of publishing pants; something that reminds me that I'm doing it and if I keep this up, I will eventually get results. I will reach my goal.
Am I anywhere closer to publishing a novel? I sincerely *hope* so – this has been a major investment in time, money & head-space! But the only thing I can do is keep going for me because this is what I want to do. It takes dedication and a whole boatload of patience (and if there is ONE thing I've learned so far is having more patience!); one day at a time, every hour that I can spare, during naps or late nights or early mornings or between appointments – I make it happen and it's hard. Like putting down the fork. Like drinking 64 oz. of water. Like not grabbing a piece of bread just 'cuz it's there. One more good decision. One more baby step.
I'm sitting, Butt In Chair, in a loose pair of pants.