Earlier this month, I gave a presentation to the Authors of the Flathead, my local multigenre wrriters’ group, on Building Character. The members were very kind, even when I made them write in class! I’m a big believer in celebrating accomplishments, big and small, with a moment of recognition, and so I wrapped up by congratulating everyone for being there. For showing up for themselves and their writing. Creative work is not always valued in our culture, especially if it doesn’t lead to fame or fortune, or even publication, the easy markers of success. But I firmly believe that creative work heals us. It connects us. It matters.
And I want to congratulate you, too. Take a moment to celebrate your creative accomplishments this past year. Maybe you didn’t write as many pages as you’d planned, or finish the novel. Maybe you didn’t find an agent or a publisher, or sell as many books as you’d hoped.
We all find it easy to criticize ourselves. Please, take a moment to give yourself the gift of acknowledging what you did. If nothing else, you held the intention of being creative, and that matters. Give yourself a gift to support the work in the year to come: a class, a notebook, a new paintbrush. Time. Permission to take a risk. A partnership or collaboration. A subscription to a newsletter or podcast that teaches or inspires you.
And I’ll be write — HA! — right here with you, cheering you on.