In honor of today, Independence Day, I would like to recommend that you take this opportunity and every opportunity to celebrate your writing/illustrating progress.
I recently had two things to celebrate. First, I found out my release date for the first two books of my chapter book series! JASMINE TOGUCHI, MOCHI QUEEN (book 1) and JASMINE TOGUCHI, SUPER SLEUTH (book 2) will be available from FSG on July 11, 2017. Yes, it’s a long way off, but I’m so excited to have an actual date! Second, I finished a novel and sent it off to my awesome agent. I celebrated both with a chocolate chip cookie and a glass of Prosecco.
It’s easy to focus on the “big prize” — the agent offering representation or an editor offering a contract. But, at least for me, the road to both of those was long and bumpy. If I had waited to celebrate until those two wonderful things happened, I would have spent many many years NOT celebrating. So, instead, I made sure to celebrate any and all accomplishments.
Some things I’ve celebrated:
- Sending off queries.
- Receiving an encouraging response (request for full, a kind/personal rejection).
- Finishing a SFD (shitty first draft).
- Applying for/getting accepted into a workshop or retreat.
- Coming up with a new story idea.
Ways I’ve celebrated:
- Buying a new book/journal/pen.
- Taking myself out on an “artist’s date” to a museum, garden, hike.
- Going to coffee/tea/lunch with a friend.
- Taking a break – to smell the flowers, walk the dog, watch the birds, sing a song, dance in the kitchen.
Take time to focus on your accomplishments, bask in the joy that you’ve completed something, that you’re moving forward on the road, that you’re following your passion. Pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself! I’d love to hear what and how you celebrate.
So, go ahead – celebrate. The road can be long, so you might was well sprinkle some joy along the pathway. You know you have things to celebrate – the new idea, joining a writing group, sending out a query, finishing a chapter. You deserve a treat! Happy Celebrating! And happy 4th of July!