The end of every year is always a time of reflection and anticipation. Each time it rolls around, (every year it seems to come faster) I try to remind myself to take comfort in the little things as well as the large. Not living the life of the rich and famous, I don't have a life crowded with massive accomplishments earning me plaudits from millions. I try to remember the small triumphs: dinner was on the table every night of the year. My kids are bringing home exceptional report cards, you can see the floor in the living room (okay, in patches. But it's there).
It's the same thing when I'm writing. Although the joy of finishing a draft is magnificent, there's also the pleasure of finishing a chapter or a scene. There's the thrill of writing an especially good piece of dialogue or finding exactly the right word to describe the crispness of fresh linen sheets (or whatever).
Huge accomplishments are fantastic; but what constitutes 'huge' varies from person to person. To one writer, nothing counts except their book being atop the New York Times bestseller list. For another, it's holding a copy of their book for the first time. For yet another, it's triumphantly tapping out that last sentence in that seemingly never-ending first draft.
When I write, I try to focus on the small steps on my way to my destination. I cheerfully admit this may simply be an act of self-preservation; as I've noted in previous posts this year, I'm not the Speed Racer of writers. I'm pleased when I come up with a new plot twist, when my characters start evolving into real people, when I see my word count is actually increasing. Some days I'm pleased to finish one sentence (okay, that's rare, 'cause it's sad).
Look around you. Pat yourself on the back for all the little things you've accomplished. Certainly, large events are deserving of massive applause, but remember all the little steps it took to get yourself there.
You sat down. You wrote. You won.