In the life of a writer I’ve learned that you must count all successes, no matter how small. There was a time I saved those “personalized” rejection letters because it meant an editor had taken the time to tell me what could be better, or what they had liked.
I also used to keep a notebook when Becca Lawton and I were writing Write Free: Attracting the Creative Life, of anything that even remotely smacked of success: a stranger commented on a blog post; an editor agreed to look at an article on spec; my writing teacher didn’t hate my story. You know, anything that made me feel slightly proud or happy about my efforts.
That strategy has kept me going for years in the dark times, through the inevitable and rough patches of disappointment and despair. It’s a gentle, loving way to take care of yourself. If the only success you ever count are the big ones, you may only ever have a few things in a lifetime to feel good about.
Baby Steps of Success Checklist:
1. Post positive feedback where you can see it daily
2. Keep a “baby steps of success” notebook and write down anything that makes you feel good about your efforts
3. Ask writing partners and friends to tell you what they like about your writing, what your strengths are
4. Spin rejection. Ask–what’s the lesson here? What can I do better, differently?
5. Proclaim! Share with others when you have a success. Let yourself be cheered and championed by those who love and admire you.
I’ll share one of mine with you that’s actually a little bigger than my usual baby success. My novel, Forged in Grace, made it through 1,000 submissions in the Amazon Break Through Novel Award to be one of 100 quarter-finalists. Share one with me!