Celebrate Success

One of my indie pub mentors, Joanna Penn, prompted me to think about the concept of celebrating success. It came up for her last year when she began helping her mother write and launch a Sweet Romance series. Joanna routinely releases multiple books per year and as soon as one is out she’s mentally on to the next. She’s been doing this for the better part of a decade. However, when each book of the romance trilogy came out, her mother encouraged them to get together over champagne!

This resonated deeply for me. I’m a craft junkie – crocheting, quilting, weaving, paper-crafting – and in the course of a year I’ll create more than 40 lap blankets and usually one king-sized quilt (no, I don’t hand-stitch, don’t be daft), among other smaller projects. The extent of my celebration is neatly folding each item and wrapping it with a ribbon so it’s ready to gift. Sometimes I don’t even manage that before I’ve grabbed the next skein of yarn.

But I do remember finishing my very first crocheted blanket. I was 15 and had carried the project around with me for months, even working on the band bus during our spring break trip to Myrtle Beach. I finished around Memorial Day and wrapped it up as graduation gift for my (older) boyfriend. Little did I realize that crochet would become a lifelong love (thanks, Grandma!), or that the power of FINISHING a project would be so INTOXICATING.

Perhaps you have a graveyard of unfinished projects. In a fit of purging, I actually gave away all my half-done needlepoint and embroidery floss. But I also discovered notebooks of half-finished essays, and been awkwardly surprised by the “voice” of my younger self. “She” wrote bolder and fresher (though of course more raw) than her modern evolution. And I find that by completing those half-baked articles, the two of “us” create something stronger than either could have managed alone.

Yet, I don’t TELL anyone when this happens. I don’t take a picture of it and post on Facebook. And I certainly don’t lift a champagne flute.

So in 2018, I’m going to look for small and large ways to pause and acknowledge what’s been accomplished. And not just to add it to a crossed-off list, but rather to celebrate it. To celebrate me. (Just typing those words gave me the heebie-jeebies.)

So today I want to ask: How do YOU celebrate success?

Is this a skill you didn’t realize you had? Or are you like me… quietly subverting your super powers?

Let me know by email reply or in the Comments section on the blog!

Write with joy! ~Demi

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One Comment on “Celebrate Success”

  1. Demi, I don’t know how you can accomplish so much in one year! Congratulations on your finished projects last year, (thumbs up here).

    Finishing my picture book has brought me more joy than I could have imagined (thank you) and the overwhelming response from mostly friends and family has been so encouraging It makes me feel like a “real author” not just a writer, which inspires me to write more books. Next step is visiting schools and other places to talk about writing and reading my stories to children. Every step of the way is a step to success and as you say, time for celebration.

    I celebrate by posting on social media like FB, Twitter, and sharing on my local events news for my neighborhood (about 2000 homes). I post on my web page and ask my writing friends to post on theirs as well. It’s like someone saying congrats almost every day, and that’s better than champaign.

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