Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Celebrating the Journey



by Kim Van Sickler

I'm thrilled to co-host Alex Cavanaugh's brainchild blogfest this month. There are far too many excellent blogs out there that I haven't seen yet, but I'm on my way!

During NaNoWriMo, while many of you were pounding out your 50,000 words, I wrote two short stories instead.

So I only wrote 6,800 words.

But as Lynda Young reminds us in her IWSG post of 12/2/13, completing those stories, and then submitting them to two contests, is still something to celebrate.

I went on a hike to celebrate getting my work done. (And then I celebrated finishing my 12-mile hike with some wine and pumpkin pie!)
During November we also had a major milestone to revel in here at Swagger Writers when Kathy Cannon Wiechman announced that her latest manuscript, Like a River, was accepted for publication by Calkins Creek! I do believe she's still celebrating!

Here's hoping that whatever writing journey you're on right now: whether it be cleaning up NaNoWriMo vomit, crafting short stories or poetry, or angling for an agent or publisher, that you are taking time to appreciate how far you've come. Commemorate reaching those milestones you set for yourself. And then brag to me about what you've accomplished in the comments below. I want to celebrate with you!

Alex wants us to remind you that the next IWSG post is 1/8/14 and that he's running a contest with awesome prizes this month, so hop on over here to enter.

62 comments:

  1. I think it's important to congratulate ourselves for our achievements and try not to feel they're insignificant if others seem to be doing even better.

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    1. So true! Everyone's journey is different. Comparing ourselves to others can be a recipe for frustration.

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  2. Yes, it's so important to celebrate our accomplishments, whatever they are. Congrats on being a co-host.

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    1. And Natalie, you've got so much to celebrate with your über successful blog! You are a force of nature!

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  3. Writing and submitting two short stories is still a big accomplishment! My buddy Milo has made a career of it.
    Thanks again for co-hosting!

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    1. Alex, I'm having a blast, traveling to otherwise unknown ports. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  4. 12 mile hike--WOW! And I thought I was doing good with a 3 mile walk, hahaa. Congrats to Kathy.

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    1. I tend to get these ideas into my head and set very specific goals. That hike was a section of towpath trail from Akron to Barberton, Ohio, I wanted to cover. Isn't it great getting outdoors? No matter the hiking distance? I always feel refreshed afterwards.

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    2. Thanks for the congrats, Cathrina. It never would have happened w/o my Swagger buddies.

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  6. I wrote a short steampunk short story that will eventually see its way into a book with stories from 5 other writers. I think writing that story was much harder than any full length novel I've ever written. So, knowing that now, I'm impressed by your endeavour, Kim. Pat yourself on the back.

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    1. Congrats on your story! It is humbling when it takes three times as long to edit something as it took to write it. And frankly, I'm really not sure I'm finished editing it. It's very possible I submitted the story before it was truly "done". (I'm still trying to figure out the fine-line between "done" and "overcooked".)

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  7. I meant to edit my comment, not fully delete it. Oh, well. I'm celebrating with you. Bring on the pumpkin pie & wine!
    Play off the Page

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  8. Nothing wrong with 6800 words! Some people put off their dreams and write zip. you are truckin' on down the road, my friend. *big thumbs up*

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  9. I opted for a slimmer version of NaNo as well:) I'm not programmed to write that many words at one time--my system would most definitely crash. Every story is something to celebrate!
    Cheers to wine & pie!
    Sam

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  10. Congrats on the two stories! This summer I wrote one and worked on a couple of previous short stories, and I was very pleased with myself. LOL..now trying to figure out all the pieces to put together for my third mystery. Thank you for pointing out the need to step back and survey what we have accomplished and not dwell on what we haven't done. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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    1. It has certainly been a pleasure! Good luck on your third mystery.

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  11. Congrats on the two stories and submitting them. I hope they do well. I always forget to celebrate my journey. Posts like this is always a good reminder to enjoy those moments. They help keep me motivated.

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    1. Hope you stay motivated! You've got a lot to celebrate.

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  12. You look cold but enormously happy in your picture. You have much to celebrate! Congrats on your two short stories. Now, if you'll excuse me, I feel the need to do more than just my Kinect fitness program right about now. (twelve miles! I'd pass out. that right there is worthy of celebration to me!) =P

    Thanks for swinging by my blog. Co-hosting is a blast. I hope you're having as much fun as I am!!

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  13. Any writing accomplished from NaNo is something to celebrate, and good luck on the contests!

    Still celebrating those small moments of interviews, book fairs and just writing! Writer’s Mark

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    1. Thanks! and have a fantastic time in Hawaii!

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  14. Congrats on finishing 2 short stories, that's great. And congrats to Kathy on the sale of her book.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month!

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    1. And to you for kicking butt during NaNoWriMo!

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    2. Thanks, Cherie. I celebrate all writers and their hard work, & I'm proof that persistence can pay off eventually.

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  15. Thanks for coming by my blog and commenting. I appreciate hearing what other writers feel when it comes to sharing what we do. I think it's fantastic that you got two short stories done and submitted! As you say, the important thing is getting our work done and out there. I made it to a bit over 75,000 words on nanowrimo, and can't wait to get going on the second draft. Thanks also for hosting this month!

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  16. NaNo is all about getting in there and accomplishing something. Writing two short stories during that time may very well be more productive then anything you might have done at NaNo. Congratulations. And thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG.

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    1. Considering that I just finished writing two books and didn't know what I wanted my next book to be about yet, I'd say you're right!

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  17. Yay for short stories. Thanks for co-hosting IWSG! Your attitude is very uplifting. I so appreciate it.

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  18. Congratulations for finishing the two short stories. I find short stories to be much easier to digest and they can be great windows into the quality of your overall writing.

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  19. Great idea to write short stories for NaNo. Not such an intimidating length!

    Mary Montague Sikes

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    1. Or in your case, snapping incredible still photos and reigning as one of the most supportive moms I know!

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  21. Best of luck with the two stories and their submissions! It sounds like a great November to me ;)

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  22. Two stories during NaNo! Well done! Good luck with submissions.
    Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG Kim.
    Writer In Transit

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  23. Thanks for hosting, Kim. If we don't enjoy the journey, how do we know when we'll have fun? Rewards for writers are few and seldom. Most of us won't make much money. Fame? Hah. That's for a precious few. If we don't get satisfaction from writing our stories, we'll never find it.

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    1. And the journey includes taking time to make memories with the kids and grandkids, doesn't it?

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  24. NaNo vomit- what a great term for what I produced last month!

    I noticed a lot of published authors and pep talker-s this year encouraging people to go the non-traditional route and use NaNo for what it's worth. If you got two polished stories fit for entry in contests than I say you made out like a bandit! That 12 mile hile (while looking very cold) and pumpkin pie were well deserved! Thanks so much for co-hosting this month, Kim!!

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    1. Beverly, everybody writes a vomit draft when they're trying to crank out a novel in a month. It can't be helped! :-) I'm fairly happy with my stories, but not completely. They might still need more work.

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  25. Wow, that is a ton of words! Congrats on knocking out 2 stories! Thanks for co-hosting and visiting my blog. :)

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  26. Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month! Congrats on completing two short stories for NaNo! I think that's a wonderful idea.Nice meeting you Kim!

    Julie

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  27. I think celebrating the small achievements along with the major ones is a good idea. I should try entering contest or even submitting to online magazines. I haven't done that for a long time. I do participate in an online flash fiction blog hop every month.
    Nancy

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    1. I really do think I learn and grow as a writer every time I submit, even when I don't win. Also, there's something about contest deadlines that motivates me to work.

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  28. Any writing is good writing! Congrats to Kathy.

    Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month. :)

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    1. Thanks for the congrats, Kim. I appreciate the support.

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  29. I tend to think short stories are harder to write than novels. So... if you wrote two, you've done well.

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  30. I tried to write a short story for an anthology once . . . and I was at 20,000 words in no time, and I wasn't even finished, lol. I wish I could mince my words like that :-)

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    1. I've actually gotten pretty good at writing my stories now so that they are in the ballpark of the word max. Then I cut, cut, cut. Like Sweeney Todd.

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  31. Great job on all your writing! You got more done than I did.

    Heather

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  32. 2 stories seems pretty impressive, congratulations. Great to meet you through IWSG thanks so much for visiting my blog and your encouragement.

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  33. Completing any project is worth celebrating and when you can add to that the completion and submission of a writing project, well then YAY! :) I think we writers don'e celebrate enough of our accomplishments.

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  34. Two completed short stories that are finished, polished, and submitted, is a MAJOR accomplishment. In my mind, that's better than having 50,000 words of NaNo puke to sort through! ;) Congratulations!

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  35. Well thanks so much for encouraging me!

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  36. I agree with Liz. They are major accomplishments :)
    I finished Nano so I'm super happy about that. Let's celebrate together.

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  37. Yep! [Holds out plate drenched with Cool Whip topping, presumably with a thick wedge of pie underneath, and an overfull glass of Merlot] Anyone who finishes NaNo deserves this.

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