As I pondered what to blog about today, I remembered a post I’d done a few years ago based on the slogan I’d seen on a Hallmark shopping bag. Printed in big, bold, purple letters, was the statement:
Life is a special occasion
A special occasion doesn’t have to be a particular event, like your child’s graduation or the birth of a new baby. It doesn’t have to fall on a holiday, like Christmas or Easter or the Fourth of July.
Nope. Life. Normal, everyday life. All the ups and downs, joys and struggles, good times and bad. We have plenty of reasons to celebrate just because we’re alive.
Do you feel that way about your writing life? Or are you holding off on the celebration until something big happens?
Maybe you’re waiting for a contest coordinator to call with news that your manuscript or published novel is a finalist in a prestigious contest. Maybe you’re waiting for the agent of your dreams to call and say she can’t wait to sign you as her client. Maybe you’re waiting to hear from the editor you’ve been sending stuff to for the last five years in hopes that finally--finally--she wants to publish your book!
But in the meantime, while you’re waiting for the phone to ring or a certain e-mail to pop up in your inbox, take time regularly to celebrate some genuine “special occasions” in your writing life. For starters, you can celebrate surviving Speedbo and doing something positive toward the achievement of your goals.
Here are a few other causes for celebration:
During Speedbo, did you . . .
- Overhear a conversation at the supermarket that gave you a great line for your book?
- Find the perfect active-voice verb to describe your hero’s action?
- Complete your main character’s autobiography?
- Experience an “aha” moment about your plot or main character?
- Finally figure out your heroine’s goal/motivation/conflict?
- Come across a Web site or reference book containing exactly the research help you’ve been looking for?
- Write a scene so emotion-packed that you were crying on your keyboard?
- Come up with a killer title for your masterpiece?
- Finish the first draft of your work-in-progress?
As you look ahead, here are some other achievements you might celebrate:
- Succeeding at a 1K/1 hour challenge.
- Gleaning helpful writing advice from a craft book and then trying it in your work-in-progress.
- Meeting a new friend at a writers group meeting.
- Getting positive feedback from your critique partner.
- Enrolling in a Seekerville Night Class.
- Registering for a writers conference.
- Sending off a contest entry.
- Working through a helpful contest judge’s critique to make some much needed revisions.
- Hitting “send” on the query letter you’ve been slaving over for weeks.
- Having your spouse and/or kids introduce you as “my husband/wife/mom/dad, the writer.”
Now that I’ve got you thinking about those everyday writing moments worth celebrating, what would you add to the list?
Whether you celebrate by popping some M&Ms, taking a Starbucks break, or just spinning around in your desk chair until you’re dizzy, mark the occasion somehow. And if there’s no one around to high-five in person, just hop over here and celebrate with us in Seekerville!
Today I’m thrilled to offer a copy of my latest release, Whisper Goodbye, just out from Abingdon Press! If you’d like to be in the drawing, please mention your interest in the comments. (U.S. residents may choose between a hard copy or e-book; non-U.S. residents are eligible for e-book only.)
Whisper Goodbye: Crippled both physically and emotionally by his war injuries, First Lt. Gilbert Ballard struggles to find himself again in civilian life. After breaking his engagement to Annemarie Kendall, he has found solace in the arms of Mary McClarney, a spunky Irish immigrant nurse he met at the Army and Navy Hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Yet Mary’s love for Gilbert goes unreturned.
If it’s not Gilbert’s insane jealousy over his former fiancée’s new marriage, it’s his addiction to pain killers and gambling that thwarts Gil’s own happiness. Worse, Gilbert’s mother, Evelyn, continually reminds him of what he lost when he pushed Annemarie away. Under Evelyn’s critical eye, Mary fights to believe in her worth, wondering if she will ever be enough.
As Mary longs for the day when Gilbert will finally let go of the past and learn to love her as she loves him, she realizes that the only way to open Gilbert’s heart is to whisper her goodbyes . . . and pray God will bring them back together.