Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


Chasing our dreams can take a lot out of us.

There’s the work, the consistent effort, the setbacks, the rejection, and the obstacles.

It’s easy to celebrate the accomplishment of our big goals, but it’s important to remember the little ones as well. It’s all the small steps along the way that make the difference.

If we don’t celebrate the small steps that are, slowly and surely, taking us in the right direction, it will be easy to get discouraged. Because the big wins just don’t happen every day.

I, for one, am going to celebrate finishing this A to Z Blog Challenge! And to treat myself, I’m never going to blog again. (Just kidding, but I’m sure my Tiberr tribe–the ones who have to promote all this stuff–would be relieved.)

Celebrating the small stuff is important for anyone who has a dream, but I’m thinking of my fellow writer friends today. For those of us who still want a traditional publishing deal (and according to some, we may as well get a horse and buggy whip), it’s a huge uphill slog with a lot of small steps in between.  Even the self-published have to find an audience and do all the work of marketing themselves. That’s not easy, either.

I have three major regrets (or goals, if you will).

  • I wish I’d seen more of the world.
  • I wish I was a published novelist.
  • I wish I lived on an island near the ocean, in a warm climate.
I could spend each and every day beating myself up because I’m not there yet. But what good would that do? Every word I write, every submission package I put together, every trip I take, and every email I send to Palau is getting me closer to my goals.
(Well, except maybe for that last one, but I’m sure that if I keep trying, someone in Palau will eventually answer my questions. I hope.)
Maybe you already celebrate your small accomplishments, or maybe you don’t even realize what you are accomplishing. What is the one thing you did today that deserves a pat on the back, and how could you celebrate it?
Thanks for reading!
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  1. Chrys Fey

    I was nodding at the first sentence, and agree with everything you said in this post. I believe wholeheartedly in celebrating every milestone whether big or teeny tiny. 🙂

    • Holli Moncrieff

      Thanks, Chrys. Too often we forget the little things that got us where we are. Have a great weekend!

  2. Lady Jai

    a road is not comprised of one single stone. No, it is made up of millions of little ones, each adding to the whole. 🙂

    It’s always helpful to see the positives, no matter how small, in order to get through the long haul. There are many ups and downs and without focusing on those tiny positives, we tend to lose our way. I know. I’ve been there. It’s hard clawing your way back up.

    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    My A to Z
    Caring for My Veteran

    • Holli Moncrieff

      Thanks for your comment, Jamie. I totally agree. It’s so important.

  3. Stephanie Faris

    You can slap me, but I’m going to actually borrow from a Miley Cyrus song. Yes, Miley Cyrus! I spent years thinking the answer to the universe was in being a published novelist, but Miley was right. There’s always going to be another mountain!!! I look back over all those years and I do have nostalgia for the little things. The first completed manuscript. My first writers’ conference. I think it is important to have that goal, but also to enjoy the climb to get there.

    • Holli Moncrieff

      I actually don’t mind Miley. I like Wrecking Ball. 😉

      And I totally get what you’re saying. I’ll never forget the thrill of getting my first article published. I’ve been published in much bigger magazines since, but nothing ever felt quite the same as that first step.

  4. melaniegobledvm

    Thank you for sharing. Victories large and small and even failures large and small make us who we are. I still have a lot I would like to do in life (hopefully, I have a lot more time), but as I look back over the life I have already had, there are so many milestones that I have reached that are huge, but there are the little ones that bring the smile to my face and even tears to my eyes as they are the ones that allowed me to reach the big ones. Thank you!

    • Holli Moncrieff

      You’re very welcome, Melanie. Thanks for your kind and insightful comment. I’m glad this post spoke to you.

  5. Jess * Jessie * Jessy

    Wonderful post and I agree. And I hope you believe me when I say the journey to being published is much more fun than actually being published. :)) I love having a couple of pubbed books, but oh how I miss the days my writer friends and i shared the conferences, the contests, the struggles, the learning. I’m the only one left still writing.

  6. Jess * Jessie * Jessy

    Oh, I forgot to say… I hope you sign a book contract soon and sell many, many books! And enjoy being a published novelist! If I can help or encourage you in any way, let me know. Best to you!

    • Holli Moncrieff

      Thanks so much for the kind offer, Jessie! That is so amazing of you. I love how supportive this writing community can be.

      I’ve had a taste of what you’re referring to. I’ve been going to this writers’ conference for years. It was a blast to hang out with my friends and make new ones, while we pitched to agents like crazy. There was the thrill of getting a request for a partial, the nerves, the excitement of the chase…even the stressful part was so much fun! Still, we all longed to be on the other side of the room…where the exalted published authors, agents and editors got to sit.

      One year I went back with my agent. It was great to finally be in the inner circle, but it wasn’t nearly as much fun. I felt isolated from my friends, and the thrill of the chase wasn’t there anymore. Sometimes imagining what will be is a lot more fun than dealing with reality when your wish comes true.

  7. Michelle D. Argyle

    Great post and point! I’ve felt like nothing but a failure with publishing lately, but meh, I celebrate where I can and just keep going. Even when we do reach our big goals, there’s always something after it we didn’t anticipate.

    • Holli Moncrieff

      That’s so true, Michelle. I’m so sorry you’ve been feeling that way, but you’re totally NOT a failure. What you’re doing is incredibly difficult, but you will succeed. I believe in you.

      Sending you much love. It’s great to see you here again.


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