Celebrating Writing Milestones
“Do not let great ambitions overshadow small success.”
~ Miguel Angel Ruiz
Happy new year! I totally forgot to post this while we were on our travels, but it’s actually a good topic as we step into a new year. Celebrating.
The New YA
I’m a big believer in celebrating as many steps along the way as possible in our writing journey. If you’ve read past posts, you’re aware of how hard I’ve been working on my YA novel. I started it in Fall 2016 as part of NaNoWriMo and have continued to work on it with a few breaks for various reasons.
About a year ago I re-visioned it after receiving feedback from both my group and my agent. I took out two POVs, added a new one and changed quite a bit of the story. My goal at the time was to get it my agent by 2/2018. Ha! I was off by about 10 months. 🙂 (see below)
But that brings me to my celebrations.
Celebration #1: Coming up with an idea for the novel that changed the ending, hopefully for the better.
Celebration #2: Getting the manuscript to my critique group two days after I promised I would. With my history of submitting to the group, this was a BIG deal. I had a huge feeling of satisfaction followed by “Now what?” That post-submission floundering is common for me and usually a sign that i just need to take a break. I may talk about that in a future post.
Celebration #3: After receiving the group’s feedback, I revised like crazy and sent it to my agent about 15 days later. Another HUGE milestone for me to be that focused for that many days and yet still feeling energized by new ideas and my creativity. I was SO excited when I clicked Send. I felt ecstatic, jumped up and did a victory dance and then burst into tears of elation and relief when I ran down to tell my husband I’d sent it off.
Celebration #4: The speed with which I processed the feedback and turned it around was very exciting. I can write and revise fast when I have motivation – like my agent saying if I got it to her by a specific date she could read it and get back to me fairly quickly. That’s incentive! And I need to remember this when I let my projects go in favor of something else. I plan to kick some speed butt when I start my next YA, which will be as soon as I come up with a story for my character and all the research I’ve done. 🙂
High Fives for Us
So much of writing is solitary and if you’re working on something big like a novel, it can seem like it’s taking forever to finish a draft that resembles anything close to a decent story. At least it does for me. So celebrating when things go right is a way to encourage me to keep going.