That said, here are three things which might be a warning sign that your process isn't taking you where you want it to.
- You're ending up with lots of unfinished work. I know some people who say that this is part of their process, and if they're still meeting their goals, I certainly can't say that they're "doing it wrong." But, to me, unfinished work represents time spent with only minimal return on the time. (I wouldn't say none, since you're getting more experience as a writer even then. Though, on the flip side, you could be reinforcing some bad habits.) If I put even a couple of hours into writing something, I'd like to think that it will be something that someone else will read eventually and (hopefully) that I'll get paid for. If I don't finish a first draft, or if I finish a first draft but don't revise, then I'm not going to meet those goals.
- You're spending a lot more hours working than seems appropriate for your output. Again, everyone's different, so this is something that really only you can decide if it applies to your situation. For me, if I found I was spending lots of hours at the computer and only getting a single short-short (flash) story out of it, I'd feel like there was something amiss. And to a certain extent, I think it's reasonable to include ancillary time (writing-related correspondence, chat rooms, message boards, etc.) as part of your "working" time. None of those things are bad things, but they aren't inherently "writing" and while some of them may be necessary (submitting stories, dealing with contracts, etc.) it's still good to keep an eye on your overall time "spend."
- You're not having fun. Writing, for many of us, is work. Writing, for many of us, is also play. It's an interesting dynamic. If it's starting to feel like drudgery, not just once in a while, but on a regular basis, then you might want to take a step back and evaluate what you're doing and why. It may be more than just a "process" issue, in this case, but a malfunctioning process could be one possible cause.