October 9, 2023
Pages and Positivity:
Celebrating Your Journey as an Author
Propel Yourself Through the Author’s Journey by Putting Your Gratitude on Steroids
Episode 41: Pages and Positivity: Celebrating Your Journey as an Author
In this episode of The Author Switch Podcast, host Carma Spence shares some creative ideas for celebrating the six key milestones along the Author’s Journey. She also shares her personal experience of celebration and how it helped her achieve better results in life and business.
Recap & Takeaways
- 03:49 Milestone 1: Your Idea
- 07:57 Milestone 2: Outline
- 11:00 Milestone 3: Writing
- 14:01 Milestone 4: Editing
- 19:21 Milestone 5: Launching
- 20:22 Milestone 6: Marketing
Transcript for Episode 41: Pages and Positivity: Celebrating Your Journey as an Author
Hello and welcome to episode 41 of The Author Switch Podcast. Today, it may seem a little bit lighter than some of my other episodes. However, it is an important one because we all get stuck along the road to publication and beyond. And celebration can be your key to motivating you to continue beyond your current milestone and move on.
And why do I say that?
Several years ago, I did an experiment where I celebrated me… something about me … for 30 days called the well, actually, it was 31 days because I chose August because that’s my birthday month and it has 31 days. So it was like every day of a month. I celebrated me. And it could be something small like gosh, I made a really good peanut butter and jelly sandwich today.
Woo! Or. On the first time I did it, the first day of the month, I just happened to go whale watching. That was pretty cool. But something I found when I did that experiment is celebration is like gratitude on steroids. So I have a normal gratitude practice, doing the celebration pumped it up and gave it more energy and I actually found that I got better results in my life and my business by practicing celebration I also discovered that one month is about as long as you can handle in a row because celebration can be tiring. But that’s not what I’m going to be talking about tonight.
I’m talking about specific moment celebrations to help you honor your author’s journey and use the celebration to motivate you forward.
And before I go into the meat of tonight’s content I’m going to introduce myself just in case you are new to my world. My name is Carma Spence, and I am an award-winning and bestselling author.
I have five books under my belt: Two of them have made it to bestseller, and one of them has won three awards. I’ve also contributed to numerous anthologies, and I’m currently working on a project where in 2024, I’m going to launch a book a month. Now these aren’t going to be your normal 200-page books. I’m going to be focusing primarily on short books because I understand that short books are the way to go when you want to attract clients. And so I’m doing a two-pronged experiment to prove that short books are the way to go and also to test out this new idea of the book a month idea because I understand a lot of authors do this and that they really increase their royalties by having multiple books. And I’ve been, for, honestly, for a long time, I’ve been wanting to bump up my inventory of books. This is a good way to do it. So anyway, that’s me in a nutshell. I’m also certified in author marketing and the StoryWay methodology of storytelling legacy books.
So, What are we doing tonight? Tonight, we’re going to learn different ways that you can celebrate the milestones along the author’s journey. And the first milestone is the birth of an idea. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can have like all these different ideas, and it takes me a really long time to get to the one I want to work on next.
And when I finally decide on that, that is a celebratory moment. So how can you celebrate? your idea generating process. The first idea is to create, well, not necessarily create, but to maintain an idea journal. And this is where you jot down all your ideas. And when you’ve each time you come up with a particularly juicy idea that you’re like, yes I love this idea, I’m definitely going to develop it into a book.
That is a moment to celebrate. And it doesn’t have to be, I’m not talking about let’s do Mardi Gras and have a party and put on party hats, although you can. You can. You could have a little party hat that every time you come up with an idea, you’re like, Woohoo! I’ve got my party hat on! Dance, dance, dance!
Do something small. Something simple. Like, have a cup of your favorite tea or coffee. Or, if that’s too much extra work, do a little happy dance. Woohoo! Woohoo! Dance, dance! Do something that evokes the emotion of celebration within you so that you can galvanize that moment and help you move so that you have a new moment to stand on so you can head out towards your next milestone.
Another way to celebrate an idea. Now this I would do if I’ve actually, okay, this is the idea I’m actually going to work on next. I’ve already started like jotting down my ideas for the outline. This is my next book. And that is hold a vision board party. And what, and this is perfect if you, if you hang out with other authors and people who have, are generating ideas and want to celebrate their ideas as well.
And what you’re doing is creating a vision board that visualizes your book idea. And you can hold this party by yourself, but isn’t it more fun to have a party with other people? Of course. So invite some people over to have a vision board and create these visions of your ideas so that, again, that galvanizes your idea. It solidifies your idea, which will help pull you forward during the tough times of writing a book.
And my third idea for celebrating the idea generation process is… An idea anniversary. So when you finally come up with that idea that you’re going to write your next book on, put it in your diary, put it in your Google calendar, whatever calendar system you use, mark one year from today. And when your anniversary comes up, celebrate it. This is the anniversary of my idea. Woohoo! Again. You can have your little party hat, put it on, maybe have a little horn, or do a happy dance, or have your favorite beverage, or call a friend and just talk. Sometimes that’s celebratory. Do what, do something that makes you feel, again, it’s all about the feeling, the feeling of celebration, because you made it past the first point.
You have no idea how many books don’t get written because they don’t have their idea. outlined or, or actually just come up with. People will say, you know, someday I’m going to write a book. Well, about what? The first step is saying, yes, I want to write a book, but the first real milestone in writing a book is having your book idea.
So celebrate that because so many people do not make it to that first milestone. They just stay in the someday I’ll write a book space. And never get there. So, if you’ve got your idea, celebrate it.
Now, the next milestone in the author’s journey is the outline. Now, I always recommend an outline, not because I want to hem you in.
In fact, um, I will put a link in the show notes to my episode about outlining. Outlining actually helps you be more creative. So once you’ve gotten that outline done, even though the end, the end result book may not follow that outline to, to a T, and that’s fine. But just the fact that you went from idea to outline saying, this is what I want to include in my book, that’s another milestone to celebrate.
So. One way to celebrate this is to have an outline completion ritual. So when you finish your outline, light a scented candle, or burn some special incense and in some way honor the fact that you have completed another step in your author’s journey. a step that so many authors never make it to. So celebrate it.
Again, feeling of celebration, party hat, happy dance, scented candle, whatever works for you.
You could also do, now this is a unique idea that also kind of helps move you into the next phase, which is writing, and that is an Outline Review Gathering. You print out the outline, you gather some friends and have them all take a look at it and tell you what they like, what they, what they think might be missing, what they think might be overkill, and therefore improving your outline, giving you a more solid idea and foundation for your book.
Bam, you’re celebrating, you’re sharing it with people you care about. And you’re fine tuning your work all at the same time.
Another idea is to do outline wall art. Now this is just, this is for the crafty ones in the, in the audience here. Basically turn your outline into a piece of wall art or decorative poster. And you can do this in any way. I mean you can do it with paint. You can do it as a collage. You remember that vision board same idea only do it with the outline. Canva is a great tool to use to kind of like make your outline look pretty and if you really want to celebrate it Use, do it in Canva and then get it printed as a poster.
I, I had a vision, I did some energy work and had a vision of myself in, with flowers in a gold frame. I created a poster of that image and I now have it hanging so that I can see it every day and be inspired. by my vision of where I want to go. And that’s what this wall art of your outline does. Again, it’s a, it’s a creative way to solidify that point and help motivate you into the next phase of writing, which is writing!
Because at some point you’re going to actually have to write the book, right? And you might want to celebrate the starting point. The midpoint or the endpoint, it really depends on how much motivation you need. I would probably celebrate just, okay, I’ve got my first draft done, but some people need more motivation than that.
So they’ll do a starting point, a halfway point, or a quarter point and a third point, whatever, whatever you need to evoke that feeling of celebration and keep you motivated to continue on to the next step. So here are some ideas for celebrating manuscript. milestones. One is when, if you’ve completed it, hold a party, hold a manuscript, manuscript completion party.
And it’s like you type “the end” and then bam, time for a party because so many people don’t make it to this point. Celebrate this moment.
It may need a lot of work in the editing phase, but that doesn’t matter. You have finished a first draft. Woohoo! Do this. Celebrate that moment.
Another way to celebrate this moment is to invite some friends over or do this on a Facebook live or a YouTube live or whatever and have a read aloud party.
And basically what you do is you read aloud your favorite parts of the manuscript so far. And this way you can get a feel for how the rhythm is, which can help you improve it, and you can get feedback from your audience. What did they like? What would they like to see different? This is a great way to get feedback, to celebrate your manuscript milestone, and to motivate you further.
And then, now this, this once again for the creative people out there, have a progress photo shoot. And this would be even better if you’ve been doing it all along. So you could say, when you have your idea, take a picture of yourself with a light bulb and the name of your book. And then when you’ve completed your outline, have yourself holding the outline and take a picture.
Then when you finish your manuscript. You, you take up this big tome of paper and you take a picture of it, of it. Celebrate those moments, share them in social media so that people can celebrate with you. In fact, if you’re doing that, if you’re celebrating your milestones live and on social media, you actually can build up your readership in advance of the book.
So you’re now doing book marketing while motivating yourself. See, these are all ways to do multiple things with the same moment.
So the next step you can celebrate is the editing phase. So you’ve had your idea, you’ve written your outline, you’ve written your first manuscript based on that outline. Now you’ve got to go through the editing phase.
And there is an episode that I talk about this editing phase. I’ll drop that link in the show notes as well. But basically, you’re going to probably edit it, you’re going to have other people edit, you’re going to have a professional editor edit it and once it’s all edited and you’ve got a polished manuscript, phew! Celebrate that moment.
So you can have an edit-a-thon where you, you have focus moments in time where you edit. Now, this is, this can be celebratory, it can also be less than celebratory, it depends on how you think about marathons. But every day that you complete your edit-a-thon moment, your milestone for that, celebrate it with, again, a nice cup of tea, a little party hat, and a happy dance.
Whatever does it for you. Whatever helps you go, Yes, I’ve accomplished this goal. You can also set up a system of rewards that whenever you reach certain editing milestones along the way, you could, I don’t know, buy yourself a new writing-related gadget, like a really cool notepad. Like, I love those composition notebooks, as long as they’re college ruled or the spiral bow notebooks.
Again, college ruled. I don’t like the wide rules. I’m just weird that way, but there you go. Go to the dollar store and just buy yourself something that will help you buy a new eraser. Why not? It’s something celebratory, but it doesn’t take a lot of money out of your pocket, and it doesn’t add pounds to your waist. So hey, good idea, yes?
And then one other idea for the editing is you could have a Beta Reader Appreciation event, day, something where you celebrate the people who helped you get here, who helped you finish your editor, your beta readers. Have a live stream and celebrate them, thank them for the work they’ve done to help you reach that next milestone.
Now the next milestone in the journey is publishing. So there are different things that you go along as so as you’re getting to that publishing date There’s different things little activities you can do one is you can do a cover reveal. Do that in social media where you reveal the cover and if you have something like MockUp Shots Which I have and I’ll drop a link to that too basically, they have an image you plop in your cover, and it generates your book cover in all these images and one of them is a book reveal.
So it only shows some of your cover and then you post that one day. And then when you finalize your cover, you go, ta da, I’ve revealed my cover. So that’s, that’s some, that’s a step along the publishing journey that you can celebrate because that, that can be a big milestone to celebrate because when I was getting the cover done for Home Sweet Homepage, I had, I tried it myself for a while. I wasn’t liking any of the designs I had come up with. So I actually did 99 designs and I’ll drop a link to that in the show notes, a 99 designs contest. And so multiple designers came, and they designed, I’m like, Ooh, I like that one.
Ooh, I like, Ooh, I didn’t know which one to choose. So I had, I put out, you can do a poll and poll like who wants, which one to, and the funny thing is the people who are my readers chose one I wouldn’t have chosen. My, I had my favorite. I was like, yeah, I’m going to get this one. And that’s not, no one chose that one.
I’m like, okay, I don’t know what my readers want. All right, we’ll just go with that. So once you’ve decided on that cover, it can be a very celebratory moment.
You can also do Now, this is kind of fun for those people that either were a part of your journey, who inspired you to write your book, who supported you in any way, even if they were your fourth-grade teacher who pulled you aside and said you should be a writer, write them a thank you note and send those out.
Like it’s Christmas. That’s a way to celebrate, and here’s a cheeky thing to do. Have a manuscript signing party where you sign copies of your completed manuscript that’s not a book yet. It hasn’t been published yet, but it’s done. And then that becomes a collector’s piece. I mean, will there be actual collectors who will collect your manuscript?
Probably not right now. But you have no idea what your future holds. You may be the next Seth Godin, or the next Stephen King and people will covet that manuscript. So start, start, start telling the universe that that’s where you’re going and have a manuscript signing party to celebrate that milestone of just before you publish.
Then, of course, there’s a launch and that, that a lot of people celebrate. They celebrate it with virtual book launch parties. I’ve held several of those. You can do a release day getaway. That’s just for you and your special someone or your friends. You could do a spa day like, Woohoo! My book launched.
I’m getting my nails done. You know, that’s not me, but that might be you. You can also do a bookstore tour. If you can finagle that one, that it depends on how many bookstores there are in your area that are reachable but celebrate the launch. You’ve published the book. It is now available for readers.
Celebrate it somehow and do it with your audience. Do it on social media. Do it out at a bookstore. Do it loud. Do it happy. Include some dancing. Okay. Uh, maybe that’s just me. I love dancing. So dancing is always part of a celebration for me. Now your final milestone in your author’s journey, and it’s sort of an ongoing milestone, and that is marketing.
Because as long as you want your book to sell, you’re going to have to market it. And that’s even if you go with a traditional publisher because they’ll only market it so far. So, review the milestones that you’ve celebrated so far. That’s going to help bring in that energy of celebration and motivate you to continue celebrating the journey by getting your book out there into the hands of readers who need to read your words, who need to be inspired by your message.
Always bring that celebration and be happy that your book is out there in the world changing lives, and I mean that even if you have written, oh, I don’t know, the, the ins and outs of physics, that’s going to change somebody’s life. Or maybe you’ve written the next really cool romance novel or science fiction novel.
Well, it may not profoundly transform someone’s life, but it transformed a moment of their life. Right? Celebrate that. You are making a difference by being an author. You can do social media milestone parties. So like, I’ve just sold my first 10 books. Woohoo! I’ve just sold my first 50 books. Woohoo! I’ve just sold my first 100 books. Woohoo!
Pick those milestones, celebrate them, and celebrate them on social media. And then start working on your next book and do something where you collaborate with another author or influencer to either collaborate to market your current book, collaborate with them on your next book, but keep celebrating your journey.
Being an author is both easy and hard. It’s well, maybe I shouldn’t say easy. It’s simple. You put words on a page, and you publish them. Simple. But it can be very hard. For some people technologically, but honestly, most of the challenge is right here between your ears. It’s you stopping you. So, celebration can help you get out of your own way so that you can complete your author’s journey and make the difference that you were meant to make.
That is the end of this episode of The Author Switch. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you go out and you celebrate your party hat off. This is Carma Spence, host of The Author Switch Podcast saying, ciao for now.