How to Celebrate Our Writing Successes by Irene Latham

Confession: I have a hard time celebrating my writing successes. I'm constantly looking forward to the next thing instead of sitting comfortably with the current thing.

I guess it's because success scares me. I don't like the attention -- I'd much rather talk about you than talk about me.

But it's important to recognize our achievements, whether they are meeting the daily word count, placing in a writing contest, getting a starred review. So much of this writing gig is beyond our control. What happens to the words after we put them on paper is really out of our hands. Which makes it all that more important to take a moment to recognize first our part (words on the page) and then dwell in gratitude for all the wondrous things that happen, like fan letters and speaking invitations and new printings and five-star reviews and awards lists. What bounty! What amazing gifts!

One habit I've developed to help me celebrate on a daily basis is to record in my morning pages 3 things from the previous day I'm grateful for.

On today's list:

1. Unexpected quiet time to write.
2. Wise feedback from [friend] on new pb manuscript.
3. Finishing poem for Summer Poem Swap.

Just writing these things down is a celebration, a way to stay grounded in the process and practice of writing. And every now and then, I treat myself to a Birthday Cake shake from Zaxby's. :)


  1. I love your gratitude list, Irene, and I'm going to "steal" it. I always forget to celebrate the small things. This'll help.

    1. Please do, Laurie, because I "stole" it from someone else! We are here to support one another, yes? Thank you for reading!

  2. It really is true--so much of the writing life is completely out of our control. It helps ENORMOUSLY to be grateful for / focus on the things we can control...

  3. Irene, I'm going to steal this idea as well! It is such a good idea to reflect before beginning the work of the day so that you remember why you are writing:)


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