Friday, January 28, 2011

Take Time to Celebrate!

I was very touched when I heard Marion Dane Bauer's story about not properly celebrating her Newbery Honor win for On My Honor. And I've taken to heart her advice to celebrate each step of the way. As writer, it used to be true that ours was a solitary journey, but thanks to our writers groups, thanks to the internet, thanks to Facebook, we're now active participants in a larger community that allows us to have virtual celebrations with our friends and colleagues any time we want!

I celebrate a good writing day by updating my Facebook status, and share good news about great reviews or awards with my writers group by bringing
chocolate to our meetings. (My previous writers group celebrated with cookies - different foods, but both great ways to share good news with your friends.

Still, the writing itself, at least the first draft, is something done alone. And I do have a more private celebration ritual for good news or awards for one of my books - one that doesn't involve eating. I celebrate by getting myself a new fountain pen. It's a way to celebrate the writing, and my personal participation in it. No, I don't write my first drafts by fountain pen - but I write my notes for each book, and my journal, and my handwritten letters with fountain pens. I cherish the way the ink flows, and how a fountain pen solidly fills my hand. And I always love the way children and teachers point at it and say, "Look! A real writer's pen."
My fountain pens aren't magic, but they're special to me, and I was delighted to start writing with the newest addition to my working collection, the silver one at the bottom in this photo. We all have good writing news to celebrate much more often than we give ourselves credit for: finishing a scene, finishing a chapter, completing a first draft, trusting our first draft to our critique group, completing a second draft, completing a revision, placing the manuscript, signing a contract, completing revisions for the publisher, seeing reviews, holding the first copy in our hands. Make sure you do something to celebrate each step of the way, with writing friends, and perhaps even a personal celebration ritual of your own.

1 comment:

  1. i love to write stories whether it a short story or novel, my broyher read ghost soldier and im reading the perfect shot sometimes when i finish things i like to tell people about it and i use my favotite pen too. keep writting;)