A Captain, a Coke, and a Dancing Cat

Every writer needs a victory dance.

One thing I learned early on when I started taking my writing seriously is that you have to celebrate your own writing victories because no one else will. If you’re waiting for that big fat check or that big time agent or that career-defining publication…well, you’re going to be doing a lot of waiting. But while you’re waiting for fame and fortune to crash through your front door like a tsunami, you can occupy your time marking your victories because, quite frankly, no one else will give a shit most of the time.

Here’s a list of things that trigger my go-to writing victory dance:

  • Finishing a first draft of a novel
  • Finishing a final draft
  • Finishing a short story
  • Selling a short story
  • The day a short story appears in print

So what is my writing victory dance, you ask? Well, when I first started writing on a regular basis, I’d write at night while my wife (who is a night nurse) worked. Early on I always had a drink when I wrote because all the great writers were raging alcoholics so I’d sit down with my drink of choice (Captain and Coke) and write. I quickly learned that drinking is an expensive habit so I gave that up almost immediately and kept a bottle of Captain around for special occasions only. Since I did most of my writing at night sans wife, most of my victories occurred while I was at home alone. I remember when I opened my email one night (Oct. 8) and learned that a short story I wrote was going to be published. It was my first publication. I was so happy I wanted to dance and since my wife was working, our cat had to fill in. She was not happy about it.

So that’s my victory dance now. I drink a Captain and Coke and dance with my cat to celebrate my writing victories. I celebrated two weeks ago when I finished the first draft of my latest novel, The Fellowship of Thirteen, which is a satire of popular “quest” novels like Lord of the Rings and Wizard of Oz. My wife just happened to be home this time so imagine her surprise when I picked up the cat and started dancing around and told her we needed to go out and get booze at 2:30 in the afternoon.

I encourage all writers to develop their own victory dances. Booze it up. Dance with a cat. Booze with a cat. Dance with booze. Whatever does it for ya.

To the victories in life, both small and large and even imagined!

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~ by themoderntranscendentalist on March 28, 2016.

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