Today, we’re talking about something that I’m particularly bad at… Celebrating your own achievements.
I know it’s important to step back and look at all that you’ve accomplished, every now and then. Keeping your eyes on your to-do list is a good way to end up overwhelmed, especially as writers, because our to-do list is basically infinite.
Between seemingly endless edits, all the nit-picky things involved in formatting, and the literally endless march of marketing…
It’s a lot.
Sometimes, you get into the groove and just start knocking shit out left and right. But other times, usually when you get to a step that you don’t feel like you excel at or one that you’re particularly picky about, it can feel like a lot.
For me, it’s the marketing that tends to feel overwhelming. For you, maybe it’s the writing or the editing or who knows.
There are all these different ways to measure your progress, all these different people and famous authors to compare ourselves to…
Which just makes our own progress seem lackluster by comparison, even when we’re making great strides.
Sometimes, you just have to set the to-do list aside and look back at what you’ve already done.
I’m not saying stop making forward progress altogether, but maybe just take a second to appreciate the work you’ve already put in.
I’m particularly bad about this.
I have a lot of perfectionist tendencies and a fear of disappointing people and always put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed. And in such a subjective field, i get to define what I consider success, but since it’s me, that means the standards are always going to be insanely high.
So, I keep my gaze trained on the stuff I have yet to do, rather than the things I’ve already done.
On the one hand, I keep pushing forward. But on the other… I never quite feel good enough or like I’ve done enough.
And sometimes, being a perfectionist can actually stop you from reaching completely reachable goals.
But there’s one thing I know I can do to try to help myself with this.
I need to start celebrating my accomplishments. And if this is something you struggle with, you probably should, too.
Instead of thinking, “I only wrote 1,000 words today,” celebrate the fact that you wrote 1,000 words. That’s 1,000 words that didn’t exist in that order before. That’s 1,000 words’ worth of character development and world building, bringing things and people to life that weren’t there before.
If you submit your book to an editor, don’t stress over the changes you’ll inevitably have to make. Celebrate the fact that the book is written.
I’ll be trying to focus more on thoughts like this in the future. If you struggle to feel like you’re doing enough even when you’re making progress, maybe you should too.
To that end, instead of being upset with myself that I haven’t finished writing Second to None yet or finished my read through of The Regonia Chronicles, I’m going to celebrate the fact that I’m almost done with both of those things.
And instead of beating myself up for not having all of my release prep stuff done for A Heart of Salt & Silver, I’m going to be happy that I’ve finished the formatting and have the cover reveal set up.
Rather than lamenting the books I haven’t sat down to read, I’ll just remember (and review!) the ones I listened to.
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me something you’ve accomplished lately, be it in the comments here or on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
Keep reading. Keep writing.