I recently attend the Northwest Writer's Retreat in Washington. First off, it was absolutely gorgeous. For us desert rats, I had a turtle neck, jacket, heavy coat, hat, and scarf on. It was a great change from the unseasonable warm weather we were having. At least it made everyone from up there smile. :) The presenters were fabulous and I got some valuable writing time in as well as much needed critics. So here's my shameless plug for it . . . if you haven't gone, you're missing out! Put it on your calendars for next year. (The first weekend in November, I believe).
*Stepping off soap box now.*
One thing that has really stuck with me was given my Sarah Eden, the keynote speaker. She was talking about a class given by Jennifer Wolf, where Jennifer reminded Sarah that you have to celebrate along the way. How easily we forget that. We get so wrapped up in that, "When I get this book finished," or "When I get an agent," or "When I get published," or "When I get so many followers on my blog," and the list goes on. We are constantly looking forward and getting bogged down when we can't see the light at the end. That turns to discouragement and stress and in drastic circumstances, quitting or giving up. Don't let that happen!
As a person, we/I need to feel validated in what I'm doing. I think we all do and when we don't we get frustrated. So, we need to remember to celebrate the small stuff. I've really been trying to take this to heart since I've been back and it has helped me in so many areas of life. Here are some of the small things I've celebrated (even if it's been as simple as patting myself on the back, I've acknowledged what I'd completed) . . .
- Finishing a revision
- Completing a chapter in one of my WIP
- Writing a complete thought before the baby wakes up
- Reading a chapter in a book
- Doing the dishes
- Being able to see the floor, even if you have to step over things (my sister and I celebrated this one as she is working on getting a room cleaned out)
- Making my bed
- Not getting angry for the small, silly things
- Getting to bed before 11
- Getting this blog post done
And the list goes on. Looking at this it makes me feel like I've actually done something. I can smile at what I've accomplished, even if it's done the one big goal that I'm working toward. All of these stepping stones are allowing and teaching me how to get there. So when I do, boy am I going to have a party!
So take a moment to celebrate the little things along the way. I'm speaking from experience when I say, it sure makes life a lot more fun!