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!
When I finished my first book, Truck Stop, I bought myself this heavy duty 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!
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 🙂
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!