I believe *strongly* in the importance of rewards along the way.. and not just for the HUGE things like getting an agent or publishing contract or a new release. I mean, those don’t come along all that often, and in between we’re dealing with rejection letters, critiques and/or beta feedback, struggling with “is it good enough?” and a million other things… and that’s all *after* you’ve put all the time, energy and sweat into actually writing it.
So reward yourself for the little victories along the way. For reaching a certain word count, for finishing a difficult scene that’s been giving you fits for weeks, *definitely* for finishing a manuscript!! Rewards don’t have to be big, they don’t have to be writing related. They can be anything from a meal out, to getting your hair done, an art print you’ve been wanting, a pair of earrings… anything!
This blog post is also going to serve as my personal reminder of each and every little victory along the way, and I’ll update it as I go! 🙂
When I finished my first book, Truck Stop, I bought myself this heavy duty Swingline 3-hole punch. Mind you, I was a struggling single mom (with no child support), so the expense was a Big Deal, even though in fact it wasn’t very much. But every morning I print the scenes/chapters that I wrote the day before, and read it over before I start writing again; kind of a lead-in. So yeah. Having a hole punch that took more than 3-4 sheets of paper is a lifesaver!
When the first box of the paperback copies of Truck Stop arrived from the small press epublisher I first started out with way back in 2001, I took my daughter Christina out to dinner at Outback Steak House to celebrate. Of course we took pictures! And yep, I was a little teary-eyed!! LOL!
I must confess, I didn’t do anything special when I finished SwanSong, Castles in the Sand and A Gift of Jacinth. And I should have. And from now on out, I’m going to do something for EVERY manuscript I finish!
I did belatedly do something to celebrate finishing A Gift of Jacinth. I happened across a fabulous artist in DeviantArt and I commissioned this portrait of Jacinth (and yes, that’s Cat, too). Um okay so maybe that’s a little over the top. It was a tad expensive, but… I LOVE looking at it, so hey. It’s only money and I can’t take it with me when I go, right?
A few months ago I finished Wishes in a Bottle, the first of my Wishes & Dreams paranormal romance series. And that one took me just forever! I had it backburned for years, literally, because for some reason the opening just never worked for me. Then back in spring I sat down with my writing buddy and we brainstormed… I got it totally re-written, and it worked, and I was off and running, and finished it just a couple months later!!! So… I ordered this writers mug to commemorate …it just arrived today 🙂
When I finished NaNoWriMo in 2017 as a Winner, I bought myself I bought myself this cool, silly little thing, but I wanted it, a Party Lights/Disco Ball for my living room, LOL! with a remote, and 7 lighting options, and flashing and strobe options, and you can even have it changing lights and patterns to music! Hah! 🙂 Love it!!
In fact… I got TWO prizes for finishing NaNo because I also finished A Cat For Troy, so I went for broke and got a 2nd generation Echo, with 360 omnidirectional Dolby sound 🙂
Of course, A CAT FOR TROY got its own reward, this wayyyy cool and FABULOUS sequined pillow cover that’s got dual-colored sequins, and you brush them one way or the other to make patterns!
If you’ve been around my blog, you’ve seen the picture of this in my NaNo post, but I got this really cute snowman torte from Swiss Colony to reward word counts… I’m slicing and freezing it, and will allow myself one slice for reaching 10,000 words! Just for fun. And rewards! Honestly though it kinda fell apart, so now I do word count rewards with Moose Munch (classic caramel!) by Harry & David! 🙂 🙂