Sunday, May 6, 2012

Take Time to Celebrate

I’ve had one of those manic, crazy-busy weeks where I can’t seem to focus on any one thing, and yet somehow, I’ve come out a good fifteen-thousand words ahead with my book.  I should be celebrating, right?  I’m making great progress.  I haven’t been able to, though.  I’ve had too much to do.

My husband, who is my single-biggest supporter, works out of town, two weeks on and two off.  It’s still hard sometimes, but we've been doing this long enough that we've figured out all the tricks to staying connected as a family.  Every night he calls to talk to the kids and see how things are going.  He never forgets to ask for a progress report on whatever story I’m currently working on.  The other night, I told him I was only three-thousand words further in than I was the night before.  I wasn’t very excited about it.  Three-thousand words doesn’t feel like much to me, but he was, as always, impressed.

“Stop being so hard on yourself,” he told me.  At first, I shrugged it off.  I’m not hard on myself until I get to the edits, I thought.  But as I was trying to get kids cleaned and dressed and tucked into bed, as I surveyed the pile of dinner dishes and the mess around the table, I realized I have been hard on myself lately.  Three-thousand words is fantastic.

I put the dishes off for an hour and sat down to re-read those three-thousand words.  They need work, I know, but they’re decent.  Good, actually.  It was an exciting scene to write, and just as exciting to read.  I couldn't believe I'd been disappointed in myself.

So here it is.  My celebration for the three-thousand words I managed to eke out the other day, and for the fifteen-thousand I got down this week.  I’m taking next Saturday off and going to one of my favorite places, The Market at Larimer Square.  I am going to eat a sandwich, sip a coke, and eventually I’ll talk myself into ordering one of their awesome cream puffs.  I’m going to have a kid-free, dishes-free, book-free day to myself.  I think I’ve earned it.
What are you going to do this week to celebrate your accomplishments?  Whether you wrote eight words or eighty-thousand (show off), go do something fun.  Celebrate yourself and all the hard work you do, because let’s face it: unless you’re Steven King or JK Rowling, you probably have a day job, a family, and a list of things to do around the house.  Every letter you can get down on paper is a victory.

And if you’re in the Denver area next Saturday, come on down to The Market and celebrate with me.  I’ll be the one with the cream puff.


  1. I'd say 3,000 is great! If I get 1,000 in a day I consider it an accomplishment and allow myself to use facebook. I no, not much of a reward, but I'm far from most of my family or peers for the matter so its something (and it doesn't cost money . . . yet).

  2. 3,000 words is impressive to me. :)

    I don't really celebrate my success, but I should. That cream puff looks like a great way to celebrate. Wish I was in Denver. :)

  3. Ahhh!! 3,000 words in 24 hours is amazing!! So is that cream puff, but not as much as 3K. Maybe you deserve two cream puffs? ;)

  4. 3,000? Where's my icon for my mouth hanging open. Heck, yeah, you should be proud and then some. I could be done with my novel Saturday if I could do that (can I borrow your brain?)

    Great post!

  5. My goodness, I didn't even critique 3000 words today, and believe me, I planned on it. I agree that it's important to acknowledge your achievements. Way more often than I should, I promise myself a reward and then go back on my word to myself. I wouldn't do that to anyone else, and I shouldn't do it to me! Enjoy that cream puff. Great post!


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