Thursday, July 6, 2017

Celebrating the little wins

I love seeing wins from other authors when they share them on social media.

It’s great to see when people you know are launching a book or have signed a contract. It’s heartwarming to share in the big wins of award nominations or best-seller lists. It's encouraging to see colleagues (and friends) recognised for the talent they have and the stories they tell.

It helps when, like me, you’re stuck in a bit of a no-mans land.

Allow me to explain … I’ve written two manuscripts. The first one is a finalist in the Oregon Christian Writers Cascade competition, the second is being looked at by a number of agents.

That’s good – it’s some kind of recognition at least. I’d much rather have those than a series of flat-out rejections, but I’m now waiting for answers. I haven’t had any ‘noes’ but I also haven’t had any ‘yesses’. Hence no-mans land.

So in this time of waiting (I’m still writing by the way) and before I’ve got anything significant to celebrate, I’ve taken to celebrating the little wins in my writing. Those things that might otherwise slide on past unacknowledged.  So this is my list of celebrations in the past month:
  • Someone read the first three chapters of my award-nominated manuscript and asked “where’s the rest?”
  • I came up with another novel concept that, after I fleshed it out and analysed it in the cold, hard light of another day, was actually still as good as when I came up with it.
  • I told my elevator pitch for my next manuscript to someone and they wanted to know more.
  • I came up with a plot twist that improves my WIP, it's still consistent with my characters and works on every level.
  • I set myself a goal to write 6,000 words in a week and I did.
  • The short story I wrote for my newsletter got some great feedback from people who said they were touched by it.
  • I connected with my mentor and got another shot of encouragement and support.
  • My first newsletter went out and subscribers took the time to email me their appreciation of what I’d done (if you do want to subscribe, visit my web site: and you'll get that short story I mentioned before.)

That’s how I’ve decided to address no-mans land. While I’m waiting for big news, I’m enjoying the steps on the journey. And one thing I keep appreciating about celebrating your little wins – it helps you appreciate the hard work you’re putting in, and allows you to see the everyday things you may otherwise miss.

Which little wins could you celebrate this month?

About David Rawlings

Based in Adelaide, South Australia, I am a sports-mad, married father-of-three with my own copywriting/communication business who reads everything within an arm’s reach. I can see a typo from across the room and always – always – make sure my text messages are grammatically correct.

Oh, and I love cooking, comedy and surfing. Over 25 years, I’ve made writing my career and paid the bills with words. It’s not a big leap from the six-year-old writing short stories instead of doing homework.

And now I'm working on finding a day between Wednesday and Thursday to squeeze in more writing.


  1. Excellent post, David. Remembering it's a journey (sorry for the cliche) and the Lord continues to work in us each step of the way. And it's fabulous to read how many positive responses you're getting towards your work.

  2. No man's land is a hard place to live, I understand only too well :) Encouraging ourselves in God and remembering He knows the seasons of our lives is so important- and can be easier said than done. Keep writing, get a range of books under your belt, so you're ready when that agent/ publisher says 'show me more'. And celebrate the little wins!

  3. Great post, David. All the little bites will eventually add up!