This post is about celebrating. I’ve been writing for more years than I want to count, and it takes a thick hide to learn from critiques and rejections. But a writer needs successes, too, to help her hang in there. And I’ve learned that successes come in all shapes and sizes. My husband took me out to dinner the first time one of my stories was accepted for a “pays in copies” anthology. I took him out for hot dogs at Coney Island downtown when I got a check for a whopping $35. When I sold my first mystery short story to Alfred Hitchcock’s mystery magazine, I took the whole family out to eat. Sometimes, celebrations are scaled back to fit the occasion. When I got my first “good” rejection for a novel I was pedaling, it was a raised glass of wine. When I got more “close, but no cigar” rejections, it was a box of candy. And yes, I counted the rejections as victories, not defeats. After all, an editor had taken the time to write a personal note on them, something uplifting, not a standard copy of “thanks, but no thanks.” They were a step forward, even if it was only a baby step.
When I get a speed bump in my writing–a rejection that especially hurts or a campaign that falls flat–I give myself a day to grieve and get it out of my system. So it’s only fair that when I finish a novel or I get a glowing review or if more people download a book than I expected to, I give myself time to enjoy the victory, regardless of its size. You should, too. Take time to savor the good moments. Wherever you are in your writing, enjoy each step along the way. Give proper importance to each tiny victory that moves you forward. Celebrate the journey.
At the moment, I’m celebrating my two, new novella bundles that just went online. I love the covers Michael Prete made for them, one for each collection and two for the new novellas inside Collection II. I bragged about Michael’s work last week, but I felt the need to brag one more time. I shared the first cover in my last blog. Here are the covers for the second collection. The voodoo priest is on the creepy side, but he’s not very nice, so it suits him. This blog is my joyous moment before I hit rewrites on Monday and return to my everyday life of fingers on keys, striving for the right words, the right flow. But today, I’m going to play and push writing thoughts away. Today’s for fun. Enjoy your moments, too.
(If you or someone you know needs a cover, I’ll list Michael’s link one more time. He’s wonderful to work with and reasonable. You can contact him through his business site for web pages: http://vertex10.com/).