Reward Your Writing

13 Mar

Writing is hard. So is publishing. It’s easier than I want to admit to fall into a downward spiral of imposter syndrome. Or something worse. But there are ways to combat that spiral of doom. For me, that spiral consists of workaholic syndrome. I will write, write, write until I burn out, and sometimes, I’ll try to write even when I know I’m burnt out and need to rest. I mean, there’s always something to do, right? Whether it’s outlining, writing, editing, querying, or marketing, a writer ALWAYS has something on their To-Do list. It’s easy to lose yourself in that madness.

So what’s one thing you can do to prevent writer’s madness?

Reward yourself.

Reward yourself when you finish a novel or sign with an agent or get your first publishing deal. Get those new office supplies you’ve always wanted. Or take the day off to read.

Writing is often a lonely, thankless endeavor. After spending months writing a novel, it can hurt to hear questions like “When will it get published? Where’s your movie deal? Oh, you’re still doing that writing thing?” It can gnaw at you. Granted, I don’t expect anyone to thank me just for writing—don’t get me wrong—but it’s okay to thank yourself for continuing to follow your dreams.

So many people claim they will write a novel and never write a word. The fact that you are moving forward is worth something. You haven’t given up, and that’s awesome. By taking a moment to acknowledge that, you’re encouraging more positive feelings than negative ones. You won’t get so lost in the pressures of publishing or succumb to imposter syndrome. You will enjoy the writer’s journey.

My advice? Make goals, and when you reach them, take a moment to celebrate.

Every time I finish a novel, I buy myself a trinket—like a coffee mug or, more recently, a Funko Pop of Tuxedo Mask for my desk. Why? Because it’s part of my writing ritual. Every gift is under $10, but each item feels priceless. It represents time and effort and the passion I have to move forward. Those trinkets remind me of that on the hard days in between.

Maybe you’ll buy a coffee mug like I do—or maybe you’ll bake brownies on the weekend. Something. Anything. Even just a nap. Let yourself enjoy that goal you reached. And then, set a new one.

You’re worth it.


13 Responses to “Reward Your Writing”

  1. Giovannoni Claudine March 13, 2017 at 2:14 am #

    I just rewarded myself with a trip to Rishikesh, northern India, for the IYF…
    an amazing experience!
    I wish you a blissful week, dera Shannon :-)claudine

    • Shannon A Thompson March 13, 2017 at 2:49 am #

      That is amazing! I hope you had a blast. Thank you for sharing. 🙂 Have a wonderful week, too.

  2. Charles Yallowitz March 13, 2017 at 6:19 am #

    “Where’s your movie deal?” I’ve only gotten this once and I still have no idea how to answer it with the proper amount of sass. Seems so rude. I like doing the reward thing, but I’ve been pretty bad at it lately. Usually, I celebrate by getting some slices of gourmet pizza (penne ala vodka is delicious) because I stay away from my favorite food while writing. It hasn’t worked out lately due to a running gag of people wanting to order pizza for dinner on the day I picked for my celebratory lunch. Doesn’t seem right to switch rewards after spending 4-5 weeks looking forward to the one.

  3. Torrey March 13, 2017 at 8:15 am #

    This is absolutely what I needed to read right at this moment. The “when are you publishing” and “when is your movie deal” questions have consisted of my daily conversations now. A pleasant reminder that this is in the norm 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

    • Shannon A Thompson March 13, 2017 at 3:43 pm #

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this article. Thank you for reading and commenting, 🙂

  4. adeleulnais March 13, 2017 at 9:47 am #

    I just read this post as I was reaching the burnt out stage. It has really inspired me, thank you. x

    • Shannon A Thompson March 13, 2017 at 3:43 pm #

      I hope you find a way to reward yourself (and get out of that burnt out stage). You deserve it! 😀 Thank you for reading and commenting.

      • adeleulnais March 18, 2017 at 12:34 pm #

        My pleasure Shannon 🙂

  5. wendyunsworth March 13, 2017 at 3:51 pm #

    Great post. What I find most discouraging is when people who know that I write assume all my time is also magically ‘free’ to do whatever I choose! Because I don’t ‘work’. Thanks for this little timely reminder, the gift idea is good!

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