Celebrate Every Step Including the Big Ones

I am a terrible celebrator. I mean, sure if it’s your birthday, or my birthday, or a championship game I can celebrate like the best of them. But when it comes to my own wins and successes I have a terrible habit of letting them go by with little fanfare.

I know I’m not alone in this. We’ve built a society on big goals and next things. What we’ve forgotten is that the next thing big only happens because of the little steps. Each one deserving of a celebration.

Milestones Worthy of Celebration

You don’t get published until you finish a book, revise it, query, and accept rejection. Each is a step in the process of becoming published. Each should be celebrated. Writing a book is a big F***ing deal. I don’t care what anyone says. I couldn’t do it. Most people can’t. But you did. You wrote an entire freaking book. I hope you celebrated. every. single. time.

Revising a book is even harder (IMHO). How many times did you revise that book? How many celebrations did you have? I hope those numbers match. Querying. Sheesh. Querying. How scared were you when you wrote that first query and how long did you stare at the keyboard before hitting send? How hard did you celebrate? You should have.

My Vow

I’m terrible at celebrating myself. I could make the deal of my career and I’d still run through my day as if it wasn’t good enough. I can be so thrilled for the author, and yet not nearly happy enough for my own role, my own success.

Which is why I’ve made a vow to celebrate harder this year. To own my successes and to remind others to own theirs. Think of the love and compassion with which you treat a toddler or a puppy. Heck, whenever Olive comes when called you would think she won the Olympics. We should treat ourselves with the same love and affection. We deserve it.

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15 comments

  1. Great post. Especially these pandemic days. Something I did on my last MG project while querying. I asked my kids to make up a sheet for the refrigerator with a title about my collected rejections. Every time I received a pass, I wrote it up there with the goal of getting as many as I could. The kids got used to giving me a high five when one came in so it lightened me up even when one stung. The title my daughter gave it? “Sending my work into the world. My beautiful rejections are meaningful.” I’ll do that again this time around.

  2. Literary Agent needed! Superior King God Renaldo is Proven to be the Certified Royal Liven King God of the Holy Bible Repeat of Itself ✝️ Ruler of Rulers of Governments of the World.

  3. Well said and definitely something to keep in mind. We don’t know how long we have on this planet, and as writers we have a different concept of time. I say, celebrate every damn sentence that blows your hair back!

  4. Thank you for reminding us how important every step is. How important each little celebration is.
    We forget how amazing getting through each step of the process is.
    A year ago, I was struggling through just writing the book. Three months ago – rejection letters. Two days ago – a partial request. Tomorrow – Limitless.
    Today – we celebrate

  5. A piece of science for you and your readers. Accomplishment, and celebrating accomplishment, generates dopamine. It’s the same chemical as alcohol sets off, so, cheer for yourself and get a little intoxicated by your greatness!

  6. Rewarded myself today, just before your post, so it was affirming. Writing is hard. Publishing is harder. The rewards sometimes have to come from yourself along the way. Be kind. Believe in your work.

  7. Thanks for your wisdom and support. It’s nice to be reminded. Let’s celebrate each noble step along the journey to publishing. I love us. We are the kind of people that believe at all cost (and no matter the cost.) That writing for kids. Supporting young minds. It is one of the most important things in the world.

  8. Yes, thank you for this reminder! When I need a refresher on how to celebrate myself and my effort, I turn to Genaro Contaldo’s cooking videos on YouTube. Often when he is happy with the results of his cooking, he throws back his head and shouts, “Why am I cooking so good!?!” Like a Mad Lib, you can insert anything you’re doing in place of cooking:

    “Why am I revising so good!?!” “Why am I querying so good!?!”

    It’s very satisfying.

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