This is going to be difficult to explain because the concept is pretty subtle, or at least it seems that way at first glance. I've been writing or trying to write for years now - decades even. The start date isn't exact because of shifting goals and all that, but suffice to say, it's been a long time.
It's not over yet.
But, things are moving a lot quicker now, and not just in the writing aspect. In the past, I would sit at my desk for hours, working hard, but not getting ahead. To some degree, that still happens, but I think I've figured out how to better manage my time. Again, there is always room for improvement. Still, I'm managing to get things done and get things moving. Writing will always be an inexact science, but other metrics are more easily tracked.
It's amazing how I can write so much and not actually say anything. I can't be really specific - I could say I read fifty pages today or something and it would mean I read fifty pages. Writing fifty pages can mean you wrote on fifty pieces of paper (or its digital counterpart) but kept only three. Then there is the way I write - notes and appendices and ideas and scribbles and maps and blah blah blah. I'm sure there's a quicker way to do it, but that's not the way I can work.
Still, I can say this - I'm actually getting things done. Not just writing, and not just the magazine goal that I've been working on. It's small, incremental improvements, but it ends up being a lot bigger over time.
Anyway, I hope to have something publishable soon.