Wednesday, July 20

Stand up and celebrate!

Self doubt, rejection, dejection, depression, repeat...

They happen to us all, and it's so easy to get lost in the negative when there seems to be so much of it; naysayers everywhere you turn, and rejection by the truckload. Worst of all, is there is no end in sight. The majority of the queries you send out get rejected, of the few that didn't, the majority of those submissions get rejected. Then you finally get an agent and the start to submit your work to publishers and the publishers reject you. Then you finally get a publisher and your book comes out only to be met by bad reviews and harsh critics... and it goes on and on. Unfortunately, that's the name of the game.

We spend so much time focusing on the goal that is still out of reach, that we forget about all the goals and milestones we have already reached. So my goal for this week--as I have fallen into the confidence crushing loop lately--is to celebrate everything I have already accomplished, and I encourage you to join me. No matter what stage of the game you are in, I promise you have loads to celebrate. For instance(not necessarily in this order):

  • Getting that great idea.
  • Having your first planning, outlining, researching, or just thinking session.
  • Picking up the pen(or laptop) and actually starting your first chapter.
  • Finishing your first chapter.
  • Overcoming that plot hurdle that for a while you couldn't see around.
  • Finishing your first draft.
  • Finishing your first round of edits.
  • Getting your first critiques back.
  • Finishing your second, third, fourth, etc. round of edits.
  • The day your ms is finally ready for submission.
  • Finishing your query letter.
  • Finishing your synopsis.
  • Your first partial request.
  • Your first full request.
  • Your first rejection with notes.
  • Your first revise and resubmit.
  • Landing an agent.
  • Your first round of editing with your agent.
  • The day your ms goes on submission.
  • The day an editor makes an offer.
  • The start of your second, third, fourth, etc. book.
  • Your first negotiation.
  • Your first auction.
  • Your first sale.
  • The day you sign your contract.
  • The day you actually see money.
  • (The list goes on, but I'll stop here for now.)
Some of you may be only part of the way up that list others of you may be past it all, and some of you will skip some of those steps altogether. However, I can promise you this, no matter where you are on the list, there are loads of people behind you, and it's only a matter of time until you work your way up.

Some of you may be saying, "Some of those are to minor, I'm not going to celebrate something that small," to which I say, "Why not?" With all the rejection we face in the business, why not take as much pleasure and celebration as we can? Think about it, if we are going to get upset after every singe little rejection of every query letter we send out,(and we all do, at least to some degree) then why not celebrate every little step that got us to that point? I say, party on brothers and sisters!

So, that is why I want you all to post your own lists here for us and join the party! Celebrate what you have accomplished and be proud! Use things from the list I have given, or add your own. Don't worry if your list is small, and don't intimidated by those with longer lists--that's not what this is about. It's about being proud of yourself, and spreading the idea of self-love to all of our writing friends out there. Also, to all my readers with blogs of their own, I am tagging all of you to make this an un-official meme. Post your lists on your own blogs and invite all your readers to do the same. Writers are notorious for celebrating each other, but when it comes to celebrating ourselves, we tend to slink in to the corner. Well not today. We are all amazing, and it's time we got the credit we deserve--yes, from the world of rejection we face head on every day--but more importantly, from ourselves!

My List:
  • Actually sitting down to write my first book.
  • Finishing the first draft of first book.
  • Starting my second book.
  • Finishing the first draft of second book.
  • Revising second book.
  • Sending second book to betas.
  • Getting my first feedback.
  • Writing my query.
  • Sending my first query.
  • Finishing the book.-- Yes, I was one of those bad writers who queried before the book was totally ready. Shame on me. Do as I say, not as I do... :)
  • Getting my first partial request.
  • Getting my first full request.
  • Getting my first offer of representation. (I actually accepted the second)
  • Starting edits with my agent.
  • Finishing edits with my agent.


  1. I think most of us feel like we are bragging or showboating when we congratulate ourselves, so we stick to congratulating others. You are so right, we should pat ourselves on the back more.

    I am still working on my first draft, and you know what? Horay for me! =)

    PS-I wanted to complement your description of voice in your last post. You should really go into speaking at writing seminars. I took an hour class on voice, and we all left more confused that we went in. You described it wonderfully in a few sentences! Kudos!

  2. Haha, thanks Adriana! I actually enjoy public speaking and teaching, but I am pretty sure they are looking for folks a bit more qualified than me. ;) Maybe someday though!

  3. I so need to hear this today, I should be celebrating my successes however small they may be.

  4. Jen - Yes! I am to the point of thinking each new chapter I finish deserves at least a candy bar! :) Celebrate them all!

  5. I can picture you in front of a stadium of writers like those preachers on TV! LOL!

    This really was great though, very inspiring! Who knows, maybe if we love ourselves more, others will love us too!

  6. Oh how I needed this today! I am in editing hell right now, and it's putting me in such a funk, I don't even feel like blogging.

    I always think back to a conversation I had with my mom when I told her I was putting my first ms on the back-burner. She said, "Well, you should at least take it to a print shop and let them bind it professionally and give it a cover." Me- "Why would I do all that?" My mom- "You wrote a book! You spent countless hours on it. You should be proud!" Me- "Ugh, yeah . . . I'll pass on that."

    My mom was right though. We should take time to sit back and take pride in everything we've accomplished. I mean, how many people write a novel?! It takes so much hard work and dedication. Anyone who does it (whether it's good or bad) should celebrate and be proud of themselves!

    Great post, Marian! :o)

  7. Yes, yes, Yes! Preach sister!