You have to reward yourself in life.
Several days ago I posted about how I set myself to writing and promised myself some beer after I finished 2,000 words. I finished those words pretty rapidly, and enjoyed the beer.
Beer isn't all that I drink. I also enjoy fine whiskey, though it can be a significantly more expensive vice. That's why fine whiskey makes an excellent reward for the accomplishment of finishing a first draft of a novel.
Yes, I finished it. This one's been on the draft list since we toured Disney World a year and a half ago, mind you. At first I wasn't sure how I wanted to proceed, and then other things got in the way. Then came a major move, and once that was closing out I had to figure out how to close the other drafts down so I could concentrate on this one.
But I did it.
There's something that is absolutely freeing about writing "The End" at the end of a novel draft and saving it to be printed. No, I'm not talking about preparing to submit it to anybody. It's a first draft. By definition, almost, it sucks. I mean, there's a good story in there. But the first draft is like the first cut on a carving. It's rough. It doesn't look much like the finished product is going to. The carver can see the end result in the chunk, mind you, but most everyone else is going to look at it and just see a chunk--of words, in this case.
But the chunk is done.
And I'm enjoying a fine whiskey tonight. Tomorrow, it's back at it. For tonight, though, it's a minor celebration.