Monday, April 11, 2011

Intentional Celebrating- A She Reads Guest Post

We interrupt this blog for breaking news of adorableness:
Yesterday, Sharon celebrated a new addition to
her family. A sweet puppy named Boo. We wanted to share his puppy cuteness with you - So adorable, he makes Monday happy! Yay!

Now back to your regularly scheduled blogging.


The other day a friend emailed meaparagraph from a blog post she'd read. She thought I might like theconcept the author,Mandy Hubbard, was proposing. I've included it below so you can read it too: Someone once told me "Satisfaction is a dirty word." I always thought that was stupid. If you can't enjoy what you have, what's the point? But then I got into publishing, and then I understood. I understood what it was like to feel like it was never enough. I understood why
people became workaholics. I understood how hard it is to be satisified in this industry... So I bought a big glass vase, and whenever I have something to celebrate-- a new book deal, a foreign sale, etc--I pop champagne and I write on the bottom of the cork what I was celebrating, and drop it in the vase. Seeing that-- seeing that I've had things to celebrate in my career-- reminds me of my accomplishments.

The interesting thing about this is that my friend sent this paragraph to me moments after I had decided to start keeping a list of my writing victories. I took this as a confirmation that I was on the right track. I had reasoned that I needed to be intentional about celebrating my accomplishments instead of letting them get swept under the rug of striving. So I began my list, marking down the good things that had happened to me as a result of my writing. No moment was too insignificant. As more victories occurred tome, I added them. A theme began to emerge: losses and setbacks aside, I was onto something. This writing thing was worth pursuing.

However we choose to mark our victories, whether by saving champagne corks or buying ourselves flowers and snapping a picture to put in a simple photo album with the reason noted underneath, eating a piece of Godiva chocolate and jotting down the reason on the wrapper or simply beginning a list in a journal, in this industry we need to find reasons to celebrate and be intentional about doing so. It's too easy to get discouraged, too tempting to look around you at the other writers who seem to have good things undeservedly happen to them. By all means save those rejection letters, but also print those sweet emails from readers and save them too. We need touchstones, little altars everywhere that affirm our calling... and mark the confirmations that God sends along the way.

How do you celebrate your large and small victories as you move forward in your writingjourney? How would it help you to have a visual reminder of those victories?


Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

Oooh, I love the champagne cork idea. How fun. A real visual celebration.

I celebrate, somewhat less creatively, by tweeting and posting my little victories on Facebook. Not that there are many thus far, and not that I have such a wide or influential network that anyone other than my aunts and cousins will care, but hey... it's fun.

So since we're talking celebrations, can I share a recent victory on behalf of one of our Novel Matters friends and I? In case you haven't heard, Lori Benton is a semi-finalist in the Genesis competition for historical fiction. And I'm a semi-finalist for women's fiction.

Yay! Let's pop some champagne corks. :)

P.S. Sharon, I don't even like dogs all that much, but Boo is seriously cute.

Dina Sleiman said...

Funny you should ask. I woke up this morning to the amazing surprise that we're celebrating my first publishing contract at Inkwell Inspirations today.

There are beaches, cute waiters, cake, flip flops, and dancing involved :) You're all welcome to come party with us.

Congrats to Karen and Lori and to Sharon on the adorable puppy.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I'm celebrating with friends today--having a party to honor how hard they work as moms. I'll think of you all while we celebrate and have a drink for Karen and Lori! Way to go!
~ Wendy

Anonymous said...

How nice to wake up to the celebration of our new puppy. I haven't wanted another house dog because of all the work it is to housebreak them, but our daughter got Boo's brother from the previous litter and I fell in love. So I put in my request for a puppy from the next litter, and here he is!

Marybeth, I love your idea of celebrating our victories, no matter how small.

Dina, wow! We're celebrating with you. Enjoy the day!

Katie Ganshert said...

What a cool idea!! I keep a writing journal where I write down my journey - both celebrations and disappointments. It's fun to go back and read and see God working behind the scenes of each rejection. Hindsight is a beautiful thing.

l said...

Thanks for the ideas, ladies, this sounds like a great way to remember accomplishments. And congrats and have fun to all those who are celebrating today!
(Cute puppy, Sharon!)

Lori Benton said...

Awww... He's a cutie pie, Sharon. Dogs are the best. We adopted our present one from a shelter when he was 2 yrs old and already house trained. SO trained he only ever goes in one spot in the back yard. God bless whoever taught him to do that!

Thanks for sharing Mandy's great idea about keeping a record of the good things. I'm guilty of focusing on the negative, or letting it color my outlook and attitude, far too often. Being a semi-finalist in the Genesis (thanks for that mention, Karen!), is a little milestone to drop on the path behind me this week.

Patti Hill said...

Dina--C-O-N-G-R-A-T-U-L-A-T-I-O-N-S! I'm putting my muumuu on now. Woohoo!

Sharon said...

This is advice I give to women often. We are very good at spanking ourselves and moaning over didn't, haven't, couldn't, would'a, could'a, should'a, when will I ever, and a thousand other temptations to I'm just no good or I don't, perhaps never will, quite measure up. It's like an addiction.

I don't know why our minds turn that way. I tell women, "I have an exercise for you. I want you to write down what you have done." The execise usually helps them respect themselves better and struggle with the priorities they aren't getting to in a more constructive way. It usually empowers them.

I highly recommend taking this advice I love her example was tangible. Make it something you keep. Making at least some portion of them visible and present like her example seems helpful and healthy to me. Bravo for great Shares!!

Sharon said...

Love the little puppy!!

Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

Dina, that's FANTASTIC! Big, huge congratulations to you!!! Enjoy your party! :D

Henrietta Frankensee said...

Congratulations, Karen, Lori and Dina! I'm rooting for you!
I've been thinking of Steve's co-op for writers. Lets put in $3 for every rejection letter and $5 for every reason to celebrate. Once a month we draw for 50% of the pot. I'm a visionary but I have no administrative skills. Any volunteer managers out there?

Myne said...

A nice idea, and one that could help one keep striving.

Susie Finkbeiner said...

I'm *trying* to get my hubby to let me get a new tattoo every time I have a success...that's not going over so well. :(

He's afraid I'd be the painted lady! He has a lot of confidence in me.

So, for now, I get to have a Girl's Night out with friends. That's pretty nice too!