Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Celebrating the Little Victories

Me (left) and my lovely sister-in-law
One thing I've learned on this writing journey is to celebrate even the smallest accomplishments and victories. Just today I received a phone call from my sister-in-law that made me do a little happy dance.

I've known her for seventeen years and she's one of my very best friends. She's supportive of my dream (she took the picture of me to the right), but she's made it abundantly clear that she's not a reader by nature. She's told me many times that she doesn't like to read, and only does it when it's necessary. This doesn't bother me in the slightest - I've told her she's missing out on one of God's greatest gifts to us - but, her loss. :)

So when I thought about people I could ask to be Beta Readers, my sister-in-law didn't even come to mind.

One day, when she was at my house, a copy of the first six chapters was on my counter. I said: "If you'd like to read it, let me know." Secretly, I wanted her to say yes, but I didn't think she would.

Then she surprised me. She took it and said she'd read it.

Two weeks went by and I forgot all about it. I thought she was just being courteous to me by taking it, so I was further surprised when she handed it back to me with some comments in the margins! I quickly gave her the next twenty-one chapters, and again, I forgot about it.

Today I received her phone call in the middle of her work day. She'd finished what I gave her (with more comments and notes in the margins) and she asked me if I could get her the last four chapters. If I couldn't, she had already talked to my other sister-in-law and could get it from her. I quickly told her I'd print her off a fresh copy and would get it to her when I picked my kiddos up from school.

After I got off the phone I had a smile on my face - and I did that little happy dance. In my opinion, this is one of those victories worth celebrating. Even if my book is never published, I was able to encourage one more "non" reader to read a full length historical novel - and enjoy it. I've already read her notes and I'm blown away with how thorough they are.

I can't wait to find out if I've made a reader out of her, yet!

What about you? What small victories are you celebrating?
~ ~ ~ ~
Post Script: She called at 8:30 tonight and told me she finished the book and she liked it! I told her she was the subject of today's blog post. :) I'm so happy she enjoyed reading my book - it gives me hope that if I've converted one non-reader, I can do it again!


  1. Wow, that's a victory for sure! You have a great sister-in-law and that something to be proud of!

    Great post :)

  2. Love it when the surprise readers show up!

    So glad for the little blessings along the way - yes.


  3. Yay! You go girl, make her a reader!

  4. That's great! I'm celebrating unexpected brainstorm time I had with a friend last night. Her encouragement helped me to move forward.

  5. That's awesome, Gabe!

    I actually did more outlining than I ever have as a pantser. I enjoyed it!

  6. I love that we can celebrate the little things! Today I'm celebrating the fact that I was able to take a little time off last night. I needed it.

  7. Oh how fun that you sister read your book! FYI, I didn't get as much reading time as I hoped over the weekend, but I hope to finish it myself in coming days...because I LOVE it! :)

  8. How fun to receive such a great response from your SIL. I'm sure she's just one of many readers you're going to delight, Gabrielle.

  9. That is SO awesome!! Yay for little (but big) victories!! My little victory is having a non-Christian friend agree to provide their own photos for my blog. They're thinking from a photography standpoint. I'm thinking from an evangelism standpoint, "they're going to be reading about God -- a WHOLE lot." YAY God!!

  10. Livia - I've been very blessed with amazing sister-in-laws. They are my best friends and they make super cute nieces and nephews, too! :)

    Becky - I know, she was a BIG surprise reader! I thought maybe she'd read it if it was published - but to read it at this stage has blown me away!

    Julie - it is eciting! I hope there will be many more "non" readers reading it! :)

    MNMom (Cori!) - I know, right?!?! I need to get it emailed to you, too!!

    Lisa - that's awesome! Brainstorming is such a fun part of the process, and when you can do it with a friend, that makes it all the better! I'm looking forward to brainstorming at the MBT Retreat this weekend!

    Jessica - good for you! I'm definitely an outliner, but I also love to let my characters/plot be spontaneous from time to time. I'm so happy you were able to find something that worked for you. :)

    Lindsay - time off is so important! I'm happy you took that time.

    Melissa - thank you!! I can't wait to hear your thoughts, especially on the ending!! I met with a group of my Beta Readers last night and we had a blast discussing my book. (Lindsay, thank you!!)

    Keli - thank you. :) I hope so, too.

    Donna - that's an awesome victory to celebrate! Yay! :)

  11. Great post, Gabrielle!
    Small victory that I'm celebrating: Hmmm. Learning to enjoy the colors of Autumn surrounding me. Believe it or not I've always had summer in mind as the best season - and so far that hasn't change!!- but I've got to admit... wow, the trees in fall! (Took a trip in a forest recently. 'Beautiful' does not do justice to what I saw! What an awesome God.

    I've always been interested in that book of yours. I can't wait to celebrate its release.

    And I soo understand this, because I'm an avid reader myself and LOVE introducing new people to what I like to read.



  12. And I just saw the previous post: I do hope you feel better ?

  13. Ganise - the fall colors are such a short, sweet blessing. I'm so happy you're celebrating them this year. :) I am feeling better. It turned out to be Strep Throat and five of the six of us in the family have it and are now on antibiotics. Thanks for your concern.

  14. I've loved reading everyone's little victories! It's the almost inconsequential stuff that keeps us going, moving toward our goal. You're wise to take a moment to stop and recognize them. In my own life...a small victory has been getting organized with my passwords. I've finally got them all in ONE place. AND I'm finally in the habit of writing down any new ones. LOL It's made my life so much easier!! Have a great day Gabrielle!

  15. I love this, Gabrielle! How sneaky of you. ;) I have some non-reader friends I'd love to convert someday...maybe I should try this tactic. :)

    Just saw that you were under the weather earlier this week, btw. Hope you're feeling better!

  16. I've been reminded again this week that God wants progress, not perfection. It's easy to be too hard on ourselves as writers, but he is proud of us for every little victory.


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