Saturday, January 15, 2011

What Should You Celebrate?

I recently encountered another one of those necessary demons of the writing life - the rejection letter. Mind you, it's not the first one and I doubt it will be the last. With each one, my skin gets a little tougher, but they still take the wind out of my sails. As I bemoaned this fact, a wise woman from my online critique group reminded me I still had something to celebrate. "You've actually finished something and sent it out. Some of us are still mired in the mess of our first-ever first draft." And I remembered a time, not so very long ago, when I "wanted" to write. I actually wrote even then - I wrote and wrote, but I never finished anything. I had sketches and scenes and half-formed notions, images and descriptions and little splurts of characters. My friend's words reminded I had much to celebrate. I had finished a novel - my second novel. And I had had the courage to send it out. In fact, I've been able to finish and send out quite a lot of work over the past few years. And my friend had reminded me that this fact was worth celebrating.

So what should you celebrate? Even rejections are worth celebrating because you had the courage to send something out and the world didn't end when they said no. Celebrate the personal rejection letter, because it's not a form letter. Celebrate the form letter because you ventured forth. Celebrate your decision to share your work with someone else. Celebrate your first paragraph or page or chapter, because you found the time to write. Celebrate putting pencil to paper or fingers to the keyboard. Celebrate the next word you write because you had the courage to do it.

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