Many writers seem to think that the only milestone worth celebrating is publication, but many milestones occur along the publishing path. Taking time to celebrate can help to keep you moving forward.
One of my best friends participates yearly in the 5K Color Run in Sacramento. The Color Run is a national event, and many different cities host the races year round. It’s not a very competitive race, but all of the runners wear white, and at each kilometer marker a group of volunteers pelts the runners with color packets. By the end of the race you are covered in five different colors, and you look like a sweaty rainbow. Knowing that something exciting is waiting at the next kilometer marker helps the runners to enjoy the race more, they stay motivated, and the time passes more quickly. The same friend does a fall “race” in Sonoma County (California wine country) where they give you wine at stops along the way and at the end of the race you get a wine glass to fill up with unlimited tastings. That’s huge motivation for some people. 🙂 It’s a race where you can actually gain weight by the end, rather than lose it.
I think your publishing journey should be like the Color Run (0r the Wine Run). At each milestone–publishing an article; finishing your manuscript; putting together your proposal; writing and submitting your query letter; getting manuscript requests; finding an agent; signing a publishing contract; seeing your book on the shelf–celebrate somehow. Hopefully your form of celebration doesn’t end in your looking like a sweaty rainbow, but if that’s what you enjoy, go for it! 🙂 Building in celebrations, big or small, will help you to stay motivated and to enjoy the sometimes-grueling publishing process.
At what publishing milestones do you celebrate?
Are you motivated by setting goals, completing them and celebrating in some way?
How do you celebrate your publishing achievements and who do you celebrate with?