Today's A-Z blog post is brought to you by the letter C!
When you're in the midst of writing your first, or tenth, or even fiftieth book, it can be so easy to get worn down by the whole process. You're slogging away day after day on one particular chapter or scene, nothing you write seems to be going right, your characters simply refuse to do what you're telling them to do...all you want to do is either crawl under the duvet and cry, or scrap the whole thing and take up falconry as a hobby instead.
It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the negatives when writing a novel, but it's so important to focus on the positives, or you'll never make it to the end.
So, I say, make sure you take the time to celebrate your successes, no matter how big or small.
First of all, you've started writing a novel. How many people have you heard say 'oh, I'd like to write a novel one day,' only for them to never get round to it? Well, congratulations! You've already overcome that particular hurdle!
When you finally manage to untangle that beast of a plot, or you have a brainwave about how to finally get that character out of that sticky situation, make sure you celebrate that achievement - because it is an achievement. Every day, you're working hard to make your novel better, and every day you're moving a little bit closer to that first draft becoming an actual, real-life novel.
When you reach the end of a chapter, or a scene, make sure you celebrate. When you realise that, for the first time, your novel actually makes sense time-wise, celebrate.
And, most importantly, when you finish a draft of your novel - any draft, from the first to the final version - celebrate.
I'm not talking about hiring a brass band and throwing a glitzy party every time (I'm pretty sure you're writing to try and make money, not burn it) - you can celebrate however you like. Take a relaxing bath, treat yourself to a new pair of shoes or a new book, organise a day out with your friends (because no doubt they're wondering whether or not you're still alive after you've been sucked into that black hole of writing your novel), catch up with family, go for a walk - however you want to treat yourself to, do it!
Me? I bake. Whenever I need to get away from my manuscript, or whenever I finish a draft, I set myself a baking challenge. This is the cake I made after I finished the first draft of Synthetica:
In hindsight, it was a very big cake. And it took me the best part of four hours to make. But, hey, that's just how I like to celebrate!
So how about you? Do you celebrate your successes while writing? If so, how?