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Celebrating the Unexpected Milestones

One of the drawbacks to big dreams is that the journey to achieve them can be dishearteningly long.

When I signed my contract with Bethany House Publishers, Septemeber 2015 seemed a very long way away. I knew there was going to be a lot to do between then and when I actually held my book in my hand, but I was a little concerned with how I was going to keep my enthusiasm high over such a long journey.

Then I realized it wasn't just an uphill trek. The journey was a staircase with many landings upon which I would be able to celebrate, little accomplishments that I had no idea would be so important when I signed that contract.

I wanted to share a few of those with you because today you might need to take a step back and realize that while your end goal isn't here yet, there are other things to show you how far you've come.

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1. The first time someone I had no connection with whatsoever made a social media comment about being excited about my book.

2. Similarly, the first time a real person with no prior connection to me actually found me on social media for the express purpose of following me as an author or when I saw that someone had added my book to their GoodReads shelf.

Seriously, that's a pretty giddy feeling.

3. The first time I got galleys on my doorstep. (Galleys are printed drafts from the publisher that you mark up for final edits.) It was the first time I ever saw my words on paper, printed by someone other than myself.

4. The first time I got asked to sign something. Bethany House sent me a stack of bookplates to sign. I sat down to sign them and realized I didn't know how I wanted to sign my name.

So I grabbed a pen and drew all over three sheets of paper, perfecting what I wanted my autograph to look like. Then I signed a bunch of bookplates which was a completely awesome feeling. This was my signature. On something for the sole reason that it's my name.

5. The first time you make a business phone call as an author. And you schedule a book launch event. (Which, by the way will be at the amazing FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, GA on September 19. Mark your calendar. You can learn more about FoxTale here.)

6. And then there's the out of the blue, unexpected things, like when you hit a list on Amazon. Any list. (Yes, I know it's a wish list, but still, that means people are looking at it!) That, my friends, is some truly honorable company to be in.

The thing that all of these milestones have in common is that, to most anyone else, they are insifnificant, but for me they mark another step up the hill, pit stops on the way to a greater goal. And sometimes it's the little victories that keep us motivated.

What is a little victory you've had? Have you reached an unexpected milestone? Tell us about it and we'll celebrate with you!

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