Author life has its ups and downs, like so many things in life. Let’s face it: writing a book can be a long road, especially if you’re just starting out or don’t write fiction full-time. It’s easy to lose focus on our writing goals, so we need milestones and celebrations to keep our focus and our energy on track.

Sure, there are major milestones worth celebrating, like getting an agent, getting a publishing deal, self-publishing a finished novel, or selling copies of our book. But in reality, it’s the little accomplishments that keep us moving toward those big milestones.

Seemingly small author life accomplishments actually add up to big wins later on, so let’s look at a few that we should all be celebrating.

1. Opening your manuscript document.

Obviously, finishing a manuscript is a major milestone worth celebrating. But sometimes, simply opening your manuscript deserves a celebration, too.

As writers, we get off track for many reasons. Maybe you’re juggling a full-time job, kids, pets, and extended family obligations. You could be going through some health challenges. Or perhaps there are things happening in the world that make it difficult to sit down and get focused on your creative work.

Whatever the case, there will be times when simply sitting at your computer and opening your work-in-progress for 15 minutes deserves a celebration. After all, it’s the little moments like these that add up to a finished book.

2. Being kind to yourself.

How we treat ourselves directly affects our writing, our level of creativity, and our relationships with our readers, editors, and other important people in our lives. If you want to turn out high quality work and have healthy relationships with the people in your circle, start by showing kindness to YOU.

We humans aren’t exactly great at being kind to ourselves. So when you treat yourself kindly–with intention–celebrate that.

3. Thinking (or talking) about your characters, plot, or worldbuilding.

It’s easy to forget that working on your story in your head is part of the writing process. There will be times when it’s hard to carve out time to write, so instead of using those times to beat yourself up, celebrate every effort you take to think through your story.

If you want to take your thought process a bit further, talk about what you’re working on with your reader friends or your editor. See what ideas you can glean from a good plot talk, or a deep dive into your characters or world. Then–you guessed it–celebrate your efforts!

4. Sending an email to your subscriber list.

Hitting send on an email newsletter doesn’t feel like a big deal, but celebrate it anyway. It takes time to pull a newsletter together, and in the process, you’re actively engaging your readers and checking in with them. Nurturing our relationships, whether they’re readers or IRL friends, always deserves a little happy dance.

5. Getting your manuscript back from your editor.

Sure, it’s great to send a manuscript draft off for editing…but what about the joy of getting your edits back? We get it: many writers dread opening that document and seeing all the revision notes. But truly, the editing process is part of an amazing transformation that takes your story from good to amazing.

While editorial feedback may mean a lot of work for you, it also means you’re taking your book to the next level. Putting your best possible story out into the world is worth the effort, though, so let’s say it once again: celebrate.

We all need a reminder to celebrate, once in a while.

If you need regular author life pep talks delivered straight to your inbox, join the Waypoint Weekly. We’re here to answer your questions and cheer you on throughout your writing journey.

As an added bonus, you’ll get our free Fiction Pathfinder to help guide you as you build your author brand. You can get that here.

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