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Week 6 Acknowledge your wins and positive changes in behaviour. Determine what's next

Many members at this stage talk about enjoying writing, which they may never have before. Discuss in the 15 minute break the success of keeping to the habit of joining every Thursday. For the most part, writing is a lonely process and it’s easy to get discouraged. So, every time there’s a reason to celebrate, be sure to take advantage of it. It’s a great way to stay motivated.

Reflect on the value of your written work. Who were you writing for and why? What does it bring you in the short, medium, and maybe long term?

We need to break the journey into manageable sections, the end of each with its own little treasure waiting for us. And that treasure is the celebrations. Here’s why:

Celebrations give writers:

1. A sense of achievement. By celebrating our milestones, no matter how small those achievements might be, we turn our focus from what we haven’t yet done, to what we have. We can look forward with a sense of satisfaction, which in turn builds our confidence to keep working toward that golden end goal of publication.

2. A reminder of the love of writing. Celebrations build the passion we have for not only the end product, but the little joys along the way. It’s easy to get caught up in the doubts and questions and hard work. As a consequence, we might begin to drag our feet. To regain our skip, and recall why we love writing so much, we need to step back and celebrate.

3. A ticket back to reality. Often when I write, I throw myself into my story world and get caught up with the characters. It’s good to step away and reconnect with the human race. Celebration is an easy way of doing this. It coaxes us from our self-made writing caves and invites others in.

4. A needed break. Celebrations provide a necessary break and enable us to dive into the next part of the process better equipped. If we keep working without taking a moment to step back, then we’ll lose that special something in the story.

So the next time you complete an outline, polish a chapter, or query an agent, celebrate. You’ve come a long way. You’ve taken an amazing step. You are a writer.

What are some ways you like to celebrate? What have you most recently celebrated?

What have people found to be the benefit of having this quarantined time in their diary? What have been the obstacles they have overcome to form this habit?

Encourage people to share links to any of their publications. Could we support each other by tweeting about each others writing or publications?

Whats next? - Will you attend again or possibly do you like the idea of facilitating a 6 week block. Opportunity exists for members to take over the facilitation of the next block - ask for volunteers.

Acknowledge that admitting success and receiving praise can be difficult:

Most of us are focused on all the things we have yet to accomplish at work. But constantly staring at a long to-do list can take a toll on your emotional well-being. It’s important to occasionally recognize and appreciate all that you’ve accomplished, too. Take periodic breaks from the busyness of work to think about what you’ve checked off your task list. You may want to keep a “done” list alongside your to-dos, so you don’t lose sight of how much progress you’ve made. Write down what went well or felt particularly satisfying in the cohort pages.

Source: Adapted from “6 Ways to Weave Self-Care into Your Workday,” by Amy Jen Su