January 20, 2015

What Milestones Do You Watch for?

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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Elle Lee Love
Elle Lee Love

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!

Loni Townsend

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

Buffy Armstrong
Buffy Armstrong

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


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,…  — Read More »


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


congratulations! you deserve it!

Renee Regent

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!

Lucy Lit

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

Davonne Burns

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.

Killion Slade

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 😀

Ava Louise

Congratulations, Jami. Well deserved!


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.

Julie Musil

Oh, how exciting! You totally deserve it.

Dani Harper

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.

Tracy Campbell

Congratulations, Jami! You deserve it. 🙂

Denise D. Young

Congrats, Jami! 🙂

Sharla Rae

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


[…] Anne R. Allen exposes 6 mistakes that can sidetrack new writers, and Jami Gold reminds us to take stock of milestones along the way. We congratulate Jami on her blog being named to The100 Bet Websites for Writers in […]

Karen McFarland

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

Jenny Hansen

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

Gloria Oliver

Congrats! Good for you!


[…] is the time of year when we set new goals, and/or recommit to old ones. Well-known blogger Jami Gold recently pointed out that some goals we have control over, and others we don’t. It’s important […]

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