The Ever Shifting Goalpost

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that whenever you accomplish one goal, another will take its place. This is true in many aspects of life but, in my own experience, it is also VERY true when applied to writing and (more specifically) publishing. 

My first goal as a writer was relatively simple. Write a book. It took me ten years, but I accomplished that goal in 2017. 

Then I moved on to editing and revising that book until it resembled something I thought other people might be interested in reading. When that was done I set a new goal of finding a literary agent and also writing another book. 

When my second finished book was fortunate enough to catch the interest of not only an agent but also an editor, I achieved two dreams in one and it has been an incredible experience. 

Now, I am a published author who wants to share more books with the world, so I have a new goal of selling another manuscript to have something fresh to promote. 

Are you seeing a theme here? The goalpost for success just keeps shifting with every step I take in this industry because I have given myself a long list of accomplishments I want to celebrate at some point in my career.

Hitting the New York Times Bestseller list. Debuting on the NY Times Bestseller list. Being #1 on the NY Times Bestseller list (you get the picture). Having one of my books made into a movie or TV series. Getting selected as a Reese’s Book Club pick. Co-writing a book with one of my author friends. 

The list is endless and while I have no doubt that I will accomplish many, if not all, of these goals, I often have to remind myself to stay grounded in the moment and celebrate how far I have already come. And also to realize that publishing moves at a glacial pace. 

One of my author friends recently told me she pops a bottle of champagne to celebrate every victory in her writing process. From finishing a first draft, to signing a new contract, to hitting a bestseller list, every win gets marked in the same way. Because without each of the seemingly less glittery victories that came before it, the big ones wouldn’t have happened. 

So that’s what I plan to start doing too. I’m going to celebrate every one of my accomplishments, big or small, instead of jumping straight to what comes next. Cheers to the journey! 🥂

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