How to Celebrate Writing Success When It Seems Hard to Do

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I don’t know about you but there is nothing quite like a soft, moist, piece of homemade cake. You know, the kind that the old church mothers make for every fellowship dinner. Here’s the thing. If you decide to make your first homemade cake but it doesn’t taste like Mama Mae’s cakes, can you call your result a success? 

I would argue that it is. Every lemon cake will not taste exactly the same. One cake may taste better but this doesn’t mean every other cake is a terrible failure. 

The same principle can be applied to your writing success. 

What is your definition of success?

It’s hard to celebrate writing success if you’re not sure what success looks like for you. One person may consider landing on the New York Times bestseller list as a success. Another may consider publishing one article per week on a personal blog as a success. Neither is wrong and neither is one better than the other. 

So what about you? What does writing success look like for you? If you’re having trouble envisioning that ideal success, I’ve got a challenge for that. Learn more about the five-day Writerly Success Email Challenge here and get some clarity on what writing success is to you. 

First Things First

Once you know what writing success looks like to you, you’ll be able to better decide if a writing project, your blog, or whatever you did was truly a success. I strongly advise you to focus on what went right before pointing out all that didn’t. 

It’s easy to be a Debbie Downer. In fact, it’s almost natural for some of us to be overly critical about our work (including me!). Whether you fall into this category or not, I encourage you to write down or type out your reflections about the writing activity you tackled. 

Set a timer and spend a few minutes describing everything that went well. Did you complete your blog post by the deadline you set for yourself even though your kiddo insisted on being glued to you all week? Did you get the nerve to create a team of beta readers? Whatever it is, write it down. Being able to visually see everything that went well makes it easier for you to celebrate your writing successes. 

Get Out of Your Head

When it’s time to give yourself some constructive criticism about what didn’t go well when you self-published your first book, be careful not to beat yourself up. Give yourself some grace. Being able to point out areas where you fell short is actually something to celebrate. This means you have more knowledge and insight that can be applied during your next try at writing a book. 

If you’re really struggling to celebrate your writing success after identifying areas that you need to improve, I challenge you to reframe your thoughts. If you didn’t meet your book sales goal last month, don’t immediately tell yourself that you’re not good at sales. Focus on a solution to help you meet next month’s book sales goals. In the counseling world, we call this being solution-focused. Think about what went well and find ways to do more of that in the future. If you train your brain to only see your shortcomings, it will be difficult to celebrate your past and future writing successes.

Tweet that >>> If you train your brain to only see your shortcomings, it will be difficult to celebrate your past and future writing successes.

Celebrate Your Goals

Remember, your writing success is just that: it’s yours. You’re not comparing your achievements to anyone else. Your journey has its own fingerprint. Get to the place where you can celebrate another writer without putting yourself down. 

So what if a writer mom of six children cranked out her book in ninety days and it’s taking you eight months. So what if another writer landed a keynote speaker gig and you’ve only got experience leading workshops. So what? 

Celebrate those writers. They are doing the work to meet their writing goals. You need to focus on doing what it takes to meet yours and celebrate your progress along the way. 

Tweet that >>> Get to the place where you can celebrate another writer without putting yourself down. 

You may be struggling with depression a lot more right now because it’s close to that special date. The mere fact that you are still getting out of bed and able to push out a few sentences each day is a win! You haven’t given up! Your kiddos may be going through a stage where staying asleep the entire night is a battle. Even though this infringes on your writing time, you’re still trucking along and doing the best you can. 

Celebrate every writing success, my friend, and resist the urge to change your definition of success simply because of what you see someone else accomplish. (tweet that!)

If you’re struggling with celebrating your writing success, I invite you to join the five-day Writerly Success Email Challenge. Each day focuses on specific steps you need to take to:

  • define and celebrate your writing success,
  • turn your writing vision into concrete goals, and
  • help you keep your mindset in check.

If this sounds like what you need, join the challenge below!