Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Celebrating Success

We are so happy to welcome our friend Debby Giusti to visit with us here under the tulip tree.  She has a new romantic suspense book in her Military Investigations series this month. 

Debby will be choosing one lucky commenter to win a copy of this newest release, which we will announce on the blog tomorrow!

We hope you will join us to make her feel welcome.

From Debby:

Thanks, ladies, for inviting me to blog today. I’m counting down the months until the Heart of Dixie Readers’ Luncheon. The weekend is so special. I love meeting the wonderful readers and spending time with all of you!

Today, I want to talk about celebrating success. You’ve probably read the quote attributed to Dorothy Parker, “I hate writing, but I love having written.” In my opinion, Dorothy got it right. Most days, the creative process is hard work. Writing a book requires energy and concentration and long stretches of time when we feel tied to our computers.

Even entering a submission in a writing contest takes effort. Printing the pages and ensuring they meet the contest guidelines call for determination and attention to detail. Condensing the full-length storyline into a short synopsis – a requirement for most contest submissions – can be a herculean task that causes us to pull out our hair and beg for mercy.

One solution to counter work overload is to set daily page counts or weekly goals. Breaking large projects into smaller segments provides a way to measure our progress and divide the tasks into manageable portions. Although self-satisfaction should be enough incentive to get the work done, a dangling carrot in the form of a tangible reward helps us stay on task.

Julia Cameron, in her book, The Artist’s Way, talks about having an Artist’s Date at the completion of a short-term goal or long-term project. Go out to lunch, take a leisurely stroll through a favorite park, hit the mall or the library…do something that rewards the hard work you’ve accomplished.

I finished my tenth book last Saturday in time to send it UPS with a Monday New York City arrival, which was my deadline for turning in the manuscript. Since then, I’ve written four blog posts and have a large book signing in my local area scheduled for tonight. I also need to complete an overview of the next book in my Military Investigations series and write the first chapter this week.

After I get my work done, I’m going on an Artist’s Date. I’ll probably shop at our local Avenues—a street of lovely stores and small eateries—then stop at Starbucks for a caffe latte, low-fat, no whip cream.

Maybe I’ll browse the nearby bookstore for a new read to enjoy over the weekend. Knowing I met my goal will make the time even more enjoyable. I’ll come home refreshed and ready to get back to my computer the following morning.

How do you reward yourself for your hard work? What goals do your set for yourself? Do you have a weekly page quota that allows you to feel successful when completed?

Share a comment to be entered into a drawing for a copy of my latest Love Inspired Suspense, THE CAPTAIN’S MISSION, book 2 in my Military Investigations Series. (Each book stands alone so the stories do not have to be read in order.)

Wishing you abundant blessings!

Debby Giusti


  1. Just getting out of the house and away from the computer is a reward for me. Great post, Debby. Tweeted it.

  2. Hi Patricia,
    Thanks for the Tweet!

    Have a wonderful day!

  3. I'm getting ready to participate in NaNoWriMo again next month. Those 1667 words each day will be my short-term goals, and when I hit 50K I'm not sure how I'll reward myself. Maybe just a big sigh of relief and a carton of frozen peach yogurt. I'm a relatively cheap date. LOL!

    And speaking of NaNo, I need to get back to figuring out my heroine's backstory before I have to go to work. I'm not really sure how she ended up living in Atlanta.


  4. I don't really reward myself for producing. In the early days, I used to reward myself by allowing myself to write if everything else was done—house clean, laundry done, volunteer work finished.

    I got over that. Recently, I hit a wall—meaning though Stephanie and I know where the story is going, I don't know what the next scene is. I wrote another scene--one that I know is going to happen--out of sequence (which I don't like to do), thinking when it was done, I'd know where to go next. No luck.

    This has only happened to me once before. I take it as a sign that I am becoming a better writer. There was time I would have written a scene that didn't feel right that would have had to be cut. When it happened before, Stephanie and I sat down over coffee with Kathy and she came up this the best scene in the book. So my plan is to shamelessly use Kathy.

    This has inspired me. When this wall is knocked down, maybe I'll buy myself something. I can't really think of anything I want, but since I am basically shallow and materialistic. I doubt that will be a problem for long!

  5. Oh, and Debby. Thank you so much for sharing with us today. You always brighten my day!

  6. Hi Marilyn,
    Peach yogurt sounds like a yummy daily reward for words written. Good luck with NaNoWriMo, something I've never done but should! You go, girl!

    An Atlanta heroine! Whoo-hoo! My characters are running around the city too. Maybe they'll meet! :)


  7. Jean, As you mentioned, we improve as we write. That's the unexpected reward!

    Crossing fingers you can nail that next scene. On the book I just turned in, I wrote scenes out of order and got into trouble. Had repeated info that eventually had to be cut in one of the two versions. So I understand your hesitation to jump around in the story, although sometimes that's where we're getting the inspiration, and we need to move forward so we write what comes. Right? Or is that Write! :)

  8. It's a joy being with you today, Jean. Thanks for inviting me to your delightful blog.

  9. Debby,
    I like the idea of rewarding yourself for hard work. I often do that with other aspects of my life I had just never thought to apply it to writing.

    Thank you for visiting with us and for such an inspiring blog!

  10. Oh, Debby! I can't believe you're on book number 10! Congratulations. When I get this one, I'll have 9 of them. Love, love your books.

    A reward for reaching a goal? I haven't tried that yet, so I'm going to. When I get my proposal finished I am going to treat myself to a...I'm thinking food here...pancake breakfast at Cracker Barrel!

    Great post!

  11. I pay myself in quarters for making my daily, weekly, monthly writing goals. I save the money, then buy the quarters with $20 bills. I save the bills until a conference and use them to buy my food and "network."


  12. Hi Debby!!! (Waving hands excitedly.) Welcome to the Tulip Tree. Here's a mint julep for you!

    What amazes me about you, Debby, is your kindess, your willingness to promote the good in all things. That comes out in your books too.

    You've been such a blessing to me and I'm so excited to hear that you're 10 books into your fabulous career. Congrats on your accomplishments!!!

    I love the idea of rewarding myself. The problem is I sometime do the rewarding and don't pull up the sleeves to get the writing done when I should. I'm going to take this approach from now on. And I'm really thinking long and hard about joining NaNo this year.

    While I'm not a coffee drinker, I do love a great big chocolate chip cookie. Sounds like a good motivator to me!

    Christine's idea about paying herself is great. Helps her build that cushion for conference fees throughout the year. Yay, Christine!

    Patricia, Marilyn, Pat, Jean, Stephanie and Christine, thanks for posting today!

    Debby, if you could give a writer any advice, what would you say? And, if a writer was going to do NaNo, do you have any tips for succeeding?

  13. Hey Debby, thanks for dropping by the tulip tree with us today. I usually don't reward myself but I am liking Christine's idea of MONEY. Maybe I could, if I was dedicated, earn enough to go on a shopping spree! Buy something nonsensical that I have always wanted.

  14. Hi Stephanie, just got back from a book signing. Sorry I was gone so long this afternoon!

    Thanks so much for inviting me to blog. Love your site...so beautiful.

    Yes, give yourself a treat after you've worked hard on your WIP!

  15. Hi Pat!

    You're wonderful! Thanks for the kind words about my books.

    Pancakes at Cracker Barrel? Great reward. I choose food whenever possible! :) Of course, I throw in a little shopping as well!


  16. Love it, Christine! You need to write your working-towards-conference strategy and publish it in the RWR! Great way to achieve your writing goal as well as conference goals!

  17. Waving right back at you, Kathy!!!

    Thanks for your sweet words. You touched my heart and made it smile! :)

    Advice for writers...just had a blog on Seekerville last WED about the Negative Voice. It's the interior "NO" that keeps whispering, "You can't write! You'll never publish!" That nasty voice needs to be captured and sent to prison. Get rid of him and the lies he loves to tell. Don't listen. Don't believe him. Instead write affirmations, ten times, I can write, I can write, I can write...

    I will sell...I will sell...I will sell!

    Got it? The affirmations work, and we all need to still the negatives.

    Advice for NaNo? I haven't done it online, but I do plow through the first draft on my Alpha Smart! Don't look back would be my advice. Just keep moving forward. Write, write, write until you type The End. The desire to "fix" the pages takes time. Getting that blank page filled is, IMHO, the hardest part.

  18. Cheryl,
    I like Christine's idea as well. Money for shopping sounds good. Shoes? Purses? Sweaters? All of the above?

    Why not! After all, you've earned the money!

    How fun is that! :)

  19. Debby, I hate that interior 'No'. And I love the idea of writing affirmations. Thanks!

    Not looking back will be the hardest part of NaNo. Geez! I'm notorious for editing as I go. This will definitely be a challenge for me. But I'm willing to try. That's half the battle right?

    Thanks so much for being part of our blog today!!