Four more letters left. I can smell victory on the A to Z Challenge! It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, but I also know I need to get through the next five days (Sunday is a rest day).

I’m one of those people who tends to celebrate a victory before it happens. I’m happy go lucky, when I’m not depressed. Or maybe, I just wear whatever emotion is gracing my life on my shoulders. But, when I finished writing my first book I celebrated. I told everyone I knew that I was now a writer. When my second book was accepted by Booktrope, I celebrated–again, I told everyone I knew. I had reached success.

I celebrated these little victories, as one should, but without looking at the big picture. Once your book is accepted, the hard work begins. Someone you don’t know begins to pull apart your work. What do you mean by this? What’s the importance of this statement? How many times are you going to use the word “just?”  I wonder just how many writers give up when they reach this stage?

Every writer I know (and I know quite a few now), knows the importance of an editor. But every writer I know also struggles with someone else telling them their work is crap. So many writers say every first draft is crap, and that in order for a novel to be ready it takes a lot of hard work, rewriting, editing, beta readers, etc.  Isn’t this the same for so many other things in life?  TRUE victories require a lot of hard work from us.

Celebrate the small victories: when the book is done, when your beta readers love it, and when your hard work finally is accepted by the publisher. But realize, that the work doesn’t stop there. Gather your steam and push on through your edits, through the formatting process, through the marketing process, and then start your next book.

Writing is like running. You start out learning how to run a mile, then build up to two. Before you know it, you’re running a 5K, then a half marathon, then a marathon. Celebrate each victory, but never give up!

*This post was written, as I continually struggle with the editing process (both self-editing and having an editor work on my piece), and it’s a reminder to myself to keep going.