What Milestones Do You Watch for?

by Jami Gold on January 20, 2015

in News

Badge for 100 Best Websites for Writers: Award 2015

As we go through life, we often struggle to recognize our progress. That’s especially the case when life feels like a giant treadmill that goes nowhere and accomplishes nothing. Milestones are one way for us to mark our progress, and they’re also great for reminding us to stop and celebrate the little (or sometimes, not so little) things.

Writers might recognize their first finished draft, first query sent, first contest final, first offer of representation, etc. Published authors might recognize their debut release, first royalty check, reaching a bestseller list, etc. Bloggers might recognize their 100th post, anniversary of their blog, 10,000th visitor, etc.

I passed one of those milestones yesterday with my blog. The Write Life recognized my blog in their “The 100 Best Websites for Writers in 2015” post. Yay!

My blog has appeared on various lists before, such as Molly Greene’s “Best Websites for Self-Published Authors,” but this is the first time I’ve been on an “official” list—with a badge and everything. *grin*

So thank you to all of you who make blogging worthwhile. I appreciate the opportunity to support other writers in this journey, and I hope I’ve been helpful along the way.

I apologize that I don’t have a big post today (deadlines have been crushing me, and I’m working on so little sleep that I’m barely coherent), but I wanted to share my thanks and see what milestones matter to you.

We’ve been talking a lot about goals lately, and some of our milestones might be related to our goals. But other milestones we watch for might be out of our control.

In other words, some milestones might not make good goals because we can’t force them to happen, but we still hope they come to pass (and celebrate when they do). Candidates in this category might be things like selling so-and-so number of books or earning such-and-such from our writing.

It’s good to have a mix of milestones that are goals and dreams. The more realistic goals can help us feel like we are accomplishing something, while the milestones that are closer to dreams or “stretch goals” can inspire us to continue and push harder.

If the only milestones we recognize are the practical, under-our-control goals, we might miss the opportunity to dream bigger. On the other hand, if the only milestones we recognize are the wistful, not-in-our-control dreams, we might fail to recognize the progress we are making.

So here’s to the unexpected milestones. May we all encounter a few of these along our journey. *smile*

Do you stop to recognize milestones? What milestones have you passed or are you looking forward to passing? Do you think a mix of goals and dreams is best for our milestone list? Have you checked out any of the “Best of…” or “Top 100…” lists for writers? Did any of your favorites make it onto The Write Life’s list?

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42 Comments below - Time to Add your own.

Elle Lee Love January 20, 2015 at 7:44 am

Hi Jami,
Congratulations on reaching this awesome milestone! Your writing blog is my absolute favorite. You always post exactly what I need to become a better writer. I’m glad you received the credit you so richly deserved. Time to party! (After you get some much needed rest.)

Wear that badge with honor. You are the best!

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Jami Gold January 20, 2015 at 9:09 am

Hi Elle,

Aww, thank you! *blush* And here’s hoping sleep will be in my future. LOL! Thanks for the congratulations! 🙂

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Loni Townsend January 20, 2015 at 9:20 am

Congratulations! You are extremely helpful, and I love your blog and site. 🙂

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Jami Gold January 20, 2015 at 10:04 am

Hi Loni,

Aww, thanks! I try to be helpful–that’s why I’m here. LOL! Thanks for the congrats!

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Buffy Armstrong January 20, 2015 at 11:17 am

This is so great! I find myself hopping onto this blog all the time when I’m revising. Love the worksheets!

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Jami Gold January 20, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Hi Buffy,

Thanks! And my brain is getting too full, so I come here to do the same thing. LOL! Thanks for stopping by!

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Carradee January 20, 2015 at 11:19 am

Congrats, Jami! I often refer folks I edit to your blog, as a reference and for more explanation of things. I’m glad to see you’re getting the recognition you deserve. 😀

My main milestones I have in mind are things like, “Finishing mini-series X” (which has 1 story left, I think). Or “Finishing novel series Y” (my most popular one, which is free on Wattpad and has 4-ish novels to go). “Paying the bills with my writing.” “Getting out of debt.”

But one of the reasons I’m on Wattpad has always been to connect with folks still in school, who probably can’t afford to purchase anything. I’ve had a fan tell me s/he wrote a report on my novel for English class, and referencing my work in a school essay and that my series has encouraged them to write, themselves. One fan (*waves, in case she’s reading this*) just asked to interview me, this week.

Those are milestones.

Connecting with readers. Making them think. Having one get all excited when they happen to run into you in an online game.

Touching readers like that are the main milestones that really matter. Finances can make it an easier or harder goal to reach, but that’s life.

I want to help people.

I want to help people think.

I want to encourage them.

With those goals, it doesn’t really matter if I never “hit it big.” I expect I will, eventually, at least hit the point of being able to support myself, but blockbuster status? Household name? I honestly shudder at the thought—though only from how family would react.

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Jami Gold January 20, 2015 at 12:49 pm

Hi Carradee,

“Finishing” milestones are great ones that we’re (mostly) in control of. I have tons of those too and only wish I had more time. 🙂 And I’m right there with you on some of the less-in-control-of milestones like paying the bills.

But that’s a great observation of some of the other milestones we can celebrate–touching our readers, connecting with others, etc. I totally agree with how important those are as well. Like you, I don’t care about “hitting it big.” I just want the opportunity to connect with others through my work.

I still remember (in a slightly freaked out way) the first time I went to a conference and had other writers come up to me and want a picture with me because they appreciate my blog so much. *boggles* So yeah, freaked out–but if that means I’ve helped them along their journey, it’s very, very cool too. 😀 Thanks for sharing your great insights and for the congrats!

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chemistken January 20, 2015 at 11:54 am

Congratulations, Jami. I’ve learned a lot from your site. Your blog definitely deserves to be up there on the list.

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Jami Gold January 20, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Hi ChemistKen,

Thank you! I’m so glad it’s been helpful! 🙂

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Robin January 20, 2015 at 11:57 am

congratulations! you deserve it!

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Jami Gold January 20, 2015 at 12:51 pm

Thanks, Robin! 🙂

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Renee Regent January 20, 2015 at 1:36 pm

Congrats! Your blog is a favorite, always something I can take away from it. I keep several in folders by topic to refer to. Keep up the good work, the accolades are well-deserved!

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Jami Gold January 20, 2015 at 2:28 pm

Hi Renee,

Aww, thank you! I use the search field on the sidebar of my blog all the time–like, what was supposed to be in a synopsis again? *type in “synopsis”* LOL! It’s my own wiki of my brain, I guess. 😀 Thanks for the congrats!

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Lucy Lit January 20, 2015 at 2:29 pm

Congratulations, Jami, on the well-deserved recognition! I learn so much from your posts and view you as one of my “go to” resource for writing issues. I also appreciate how you integrate business concepts in a way that’s easy for writers to grasp. Kind of like this post. lol

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Jami Gold January 20, 2015 at 2:32 pm

Hi Lucy,

Thank you! Yes, I must have a weird brain to be able to process things from both ends–like a translator for writers. LOL! I’m glad I’m finally getting to put my weirdness to good use. 😉 Thanks for the congratulations!

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Davonne Burns January 20, 2015 at 3:05 pm

I agree with everyone, this award is very much deserved. I’ve had a subscription to a well known writer’s magazine for years but I’ll be very honest, I’ve never learned as much reading it as I have since I found your blog. Your posts are timely, well thought out, and full of practical advice but not stuffy or preachy. I am constantly linking one post or another to my friends who are also aspiring writers.

I’m certain there will be many more such wonderful milestones in your future.

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Jami Gold January 21, 2015 at 8:48 am

Hi Davonne,

Wow! That’s high praise! *blush* Thank you so much for the kind words!

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Killion Slade January 20, 2015 at 3:09 pm

Way to rock it out, Chica! Super Uber Congrats on making that list!!!

Milestones … when I think about where I was and what I’ve achieved since then, I can see the big long hill I’ve been climbing. I can also see the mountain range ahead of me, as well. Each step helps me get to the next goal. I sat down and wrote out my goals earlier [based on your blog post] and discovered I had earned another milestone.
As long as I listen to the helpful advice of people I surround myself with, I know I’ll continue to reach that next milestone.

It’s nice to have the wistful dreams, but the concrete reality of tangible goals are important to me so I can keep entertaining those nostalgic desires.

Have a wonderful day and Congratulations once again 😀

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Jami Gold January 21, 2015 at 8:49 am

Hi Killion,

Exactly! Sometimes we can’t see how far we’ve gotten until we stop and look around. 🙂 Congratulations on reaching one of your milestones, and thanks for the comment!

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Ava Louise January 20, 2015 at 4:02 pm

Congratulations, Jami. Well deserved!

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Jami Gold January 21, 2015 at 8:49 am

Thank you, Ava! 🙂

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Maggie January 20, 2015 at 4:40 pm

You should be recognized for your blog Jami. Not only do you work hard at it, its a wonderful free resource for writers and you’ve made my journey that little bit easier. So thanks with a big smile.

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Jami Gold January 21, 2015 at 8:53 am

Hi Maggie,

Thank you! I’m so gratified to hear that my blog has been helpful for you. 🙂 Here’s to big smiles all around! LOL!

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Julie Musil January 20, 2015 at 6:25 pm

Oh, how exciting! You totally deserve it.

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Jami Gold January 21, 2015 at 8:53 am

Thank you, Julie! 🙂

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Dani Harper January 21, 2015 at 8:20 am

Kudos Jami! The recognition is well-deserved. As an author, I’m so glad I stumbled across this blog — I always learn something when I read your posts.

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Jami Gold January 21, 2015 at 8:58 am

Hi Dani,

I’m honored to be a part of so many authors’ journeys. 🙂 Thanks for the kudos!

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Tracy Campbell January 21, 2015 at 8:51 am

Congratulations, Jami! You deserve it. 🙂

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Jami Gold January 21, 2015 at 8:58 am

Thank you, Tracy! 🙂

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Denise D. Young January 21, 2015 at 1:57 pm

Congrats, Jami! 🙂

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Jami Gold January 21, 2015 at 2:20 pm

Thanks, Denise! 🙂

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Sharla Rae January 21, 2015 at 11:20 pm

Congrats Jami. Well deserved! You have great info for all of us writers. 🙂

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Jami Gold January 22, 2015 at 8:50 am

Thank you, Sharla Rae! 🙂

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Karen McFarland January 22, 2015 at 6:40 pm

Congratulations Jami! That’s wonderful! What a compliment! 🙂

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Jami Gold January 22, 2015 at 8:45 pm

Thank you, Karen! 🙂

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Jenny Hansen January 24, 2015 at 11:48 am

Congratulations, my friend!! Well deserved. Now get some sleep!

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Jami Gold January 24, 2015 at 5:38 pm

Thank you, Jenny! 🙂

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Gloria Oliver January 25, 2015 at 12:31 pm

Congrats! Good for you!

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Jami Gold January 25, 2015 at 7:54 pm

Thank you, Gloria! 😀

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