Bouquet of Milestones

In my current career, I’ve met a number of authors. Some successful. Others struggling with various steps on the writing path. What I have not met, or even heard referred to by these author friends and acquaintances, is an author who wrote an entire book without encountering obstacles and then continued unobstructed to be published and make thousands of sales.

A more common experience is a mixture of days of progress and hours, or days, of mired down in writing or publishing problems. If you think in graphs, do NOT draw a smooth, ascending line from start to goal. If an author is lucky, the graph would be jerky steps in a generally upward direction. Other time, the trend goes down, perhaps as far as needing to start over.

How does an author cope? Well, it varies by the person — but a common way is to set small goals and celebrate when each is achieved. Did you meet your word count for the week? Treat yourself to…a manicure? Ice cream? Visit to a museum?

One of the writing groups I belong to celebrates specific milestones once a year. Each color representing a different achievement in the writing and publishing process. When I’ve had a “down” day, perhaps where chapters had to be discarded or a publisher sent a rejection — this bouquet offers a little comfort. “You’ve done this before. You can do it again.”

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