marking the milestones in a big project + March intentions
Nothing could have been as nourishing to my writing life today as hearing "some seasons are just about getting from one moment to the next." <3
I love those boots! I didn’t get myself a tenure present, but I should! Better late than never, right?
I love thie idea of celebrating milestones! My wife is working on her PhD, and I'm working on a book, and we make this a regular practice at our house. Often this looks like doing whatever we were going to do, but congratulating each other one whatever we just acheived.
wow, i never give myself rewards for reaching writing milestones. this is a tough decision. since i’m barely making money, i think i’ll reward myself with smth non-monetary like going to the dog-park or spending the day at the lake.
When I was writing my dissertation, I had a little cheering squad of friends who agreed to send me a little present when I hit certain milestones. I gave each of them $20 (I didn't want them to feel pressured to spend money on me, though most ended up spending more than $20, I think) and told them to surprise me when I reached their designated milestone. I love the surprise of getting a little present and it was also a little motivating to not want to have lost out on the $20 I already gave them!
Fantastic boots! I have begun transferring all the ideas/lines from a notes app into my notebook, using each one at the top of a different page as a prompt- it's definitely helped in utilizing the time I set out for writing.
ALWAYS INSPIRING! I usually celebrate reaching goals by setting another, so your post reminds me to acknowledge that I have indeed completed goals, reached forward to more challenging ones. Even when I get a poem or flash accepted, I don't exactly celebrate but send out more! I have been writing more by hand lately as an exercise in slowing down, so in response to your suggestion to celebrate, I will buy a few more notebooks, the more ridiculous or outrageous looking the better!
I'll be celebrating the finalization of the cover for my first novel this month!
I'm celebrating half way through my poetry course! It's a lot of work and logistical juggling, but I've made some new poems and have a spine for a mss. yay.
I love this so much! I’ve been trying to savor & celebrate all the little milestones too!
This was a lovely thing to get to on a bleak Monday morning as I settle into the first day of semester and staring down what always feels like an unmanageable teaching load. Thank you.
Hence, one of my goals for March is to not let work get in the way of keeping my creative brain fuelled and being driven. I'm committed to write each week (mostly on Substack, but also on some ongoing projects), even if it's something I'm not happy with or if it's just experimentation. The notion you mention about being OK with something at mediocrity hits deep -- it's a realisation I'm trying to lean into of late. I've approached too much of work with perfectionism in mind, often beating myself up if I don't reach it or worrying what others might think or just overworking myself needlessly whilst not nurturing the other parts of me that matter. To some extent, I have to let that go, especially because I know the next 12 weeks of teaching, research and grant writing can drive me to burnout.
I do weird little things with milestones, especially when they are deadline-fixed milestones. I'll set little future calendar notes to myself, congratulating myself or offering words of comfort, like "See, I knew you'd make it through it all OK". They give me pause when they arrive in the future. It's like a little package I'm sending out into time for myself for later. Totally weird, haha.
Also a big fan of going for a special meal with my wife, either booked far into the future or just on the spur of the moment to embrace the now.
The day I turned in my manuscript, I had friends over for cake and champagne. I custom ordered a cake for the occasion 😜
Learning to celebrate my little wins/accomplishments is something fairly new to me. And I love it. I'll get myself a nice tube of lipstick from time to time. Last week it was a sterling silver ear cuff from Etsy. I'll give myself extra time to read up everything good that shows up before me in a day if I've written consistently and well for a many days in a row. Today, I'm going on a special hike with my dog to reward myself for cooking (and a little cleaning) I did yesterday.