When you seriously undertake an endeavor, finding success is never immediate. It’s a long hard climb to the top, and sometimes you can lose sight of the ultimate goal. That’s why you set milestones for yourself.
It could be finishing a chapter. Knocking out a round of edits. Sending out a given number of queries. Every milestone you reach is bringing you one step closer to the realization of that dream. That’s cause for celebration, in my opinion, because how many people never actually take that first step, let alone one that got you to that milestone?
Now, by ‘celebrating’ I don’t mean throwing a massive party for each little milestone reached. But you should still reward yourself. Go out and have a drink. See a movie you haven’t seen yet in the cinema. Break the tedium in some way that lets off some steam, gets you experiencing something new, drives home the fact that you’ve completed something significant, even if it’s just for you.
I’d love to take my own advice, here. I recently finished taking the pen to the manuscript of Citizen and trimming some of the fat. When I sit down to plow through the changes electronically, I suspect even more will be trimmed. And then I have one more round beyond that, a series examination by critical friends. Not to mention finally letting my wife read it and having her give me notes on everything I should change, or why I should change everything.
I don’t have any big plans to celebrate, though. Unless you count going up north for Musikfest again. I never did get to try out the pulled pork they have up there this year. Or the crab cake sliders. (Great, now I’m getting hungry again)
My point is, take a break. Relax. Celebrate.
Then get right back to it.
Remember, that masterpiece isn’t going to write itself.