I usually talk about the technical aspects of writing for #AuthorToolboxBlogHop, but recent events encouraged me to write more about the emotional aspects of being a writer. I think for many of us, it’s tempting to look at success or happiness as a destination. “I’ll be happen when…” “I’ll be successful when…”
We’re so concerned with the destination we forget to enjoy the smaller victories in the journey. But it’s so important to appreciate and celebrate every victory, no matter how small, because as long as you look at success as a destination, there will always be something else to look forward to – there is no end.
I got into Pitch Wars this year. At first, the stress was about whether or not my manuscript would be finished in time. Then, it became about whether I’d get any requests, then about whether I would get chosen by a mentor. Now that I’m in, it’s about whether my entry will get any requests from agents (!!!). It’s possible I get none. It happens to a few people every year.
But then I thought to myself, “Okay, let’s say I get a couple of requests – would that put an end to the stress? No. Because then it’ll be about getting an offer of representation. Will that be the end? Nope. Then we’ll need an editor who likes it enough to acquire it. FINALLY THAT’S THE END OF ALL THE WORRIES – except wait, what if readers hate it? Maybe they’ll love it – ah, but what about the next book? What if my agent/editor/readers hate it?”
See my point? There will always be something to worry about. Always some reason to put off celebrating. I have to remind myself that, whether or not I get any requests at the agent round, getting into Pitch Wars itself was a huge victory for me. Of course, it’s important to have a long term goal, but the short term ones are just as important.
Finished that first draft? YAY! CELEBRATE!
Revised and sent it to a CP? WOOHOO!
Emailed your first query? THAT’S A HUGE STEP! It takes courage to put your work out there!
Got a request? YAY!
Got a rejection? Every rejection is one step closer to success (even if it’s not with the same manuscript).
When you accomplish something, no matter how small, take some time to celebrate and appreciate all you’ve done. Be proud of yourself. Don’t immediately worry about the next step. You need those small victories to keep pushing you forward.
In fact, why don’t you share a recent victory below? I’d love to hear it!
P.S Today, the bidding for the Virgin Islands Publishing Fundraising auction opened. I donated a query and full MS critique. If you’d like to bid on it (or any of the other items), you can click here.
And remember – celebrate the small victories!