Claim Your Annual Writing Wins with a Victory L.A.P.

Dec 05, 2022

No. 105 | By Christine Carron

Completing an annual celebration is a way to frame a year of writing in a positive, powerful way. According to Canadian-American psychologist Albert Bandura, the acknowledgement of past accomplishments is one source of self-efficacy. [1] Since self-efficacy relates to our ability to achieve a desired outcome, like acing the writing adventure, it's a good quality for us writers to cultivate.

It's definitely a quality that is inherent to Goodjelly’s mission. When I project manage writers in the Jam Experience, for example, self-efficacy is threaded throughout the program. To build motivation and momentum, we focus on cultivating clearly-defined small wins day in and day out. That consistent claiming of accomplishment helps writers get their work done with more confidence and ease. 

Looking back over an entire year of accomplishments has a similar self-efficacy-building effect, framing the larger arc of your writing journey. With that goal in mind, Goodjelly's annual Victory L.A.P. process helps you claim your big-picture growth as a writer, your key accomplishments of the year, as well as where you have earned the right for a little writerly swagger.

This type of celebratory reflection is a great way to give yourself a boost of confidence and motivation as you head into a new year of your writing adventure. The process itself is simple in theory, but most of us have tendencies and habits that get in the way of unfettered celebrating. 

We might minimize our progress (e.g., it was good but not good enough), or focus on what went wrong, or what we didn’t do, or what didn’t happen, etc. There is certainly a time and place for that kind of reflection. It enables us to make adjustments in the spirit of continual improvement. That time and place, however, is not during a celebratory accounting of the year.

So put your party hat on, resolve to stay in fierce accomplishment-claiming mode, and take your victory lap. Wahoo!

Goodjelly’s Annual Victory L.A.P. Process

The L.A.P. in Victory L.A.P. stands for Learned, Accomplished, and Proud of. Each has a single statement associated with it that you will use to build your list of annual wins.

  • The Learned statement invites you to identify your growth as a writer.
  • The Accomplishments statement invites you to list your achievements as a writer.
  • The Proud of statement invites you to create an emotional connection to your annual wins, i.e., to allow yourself to feel healthy pride in the unfolding of your writing adventure. (Note: this will require you to connect into a different part of yourself than your Inner Critic.)

Before we get to the statements, however, we have to claim the time, collect the data, and set the mood.

Step #1: Book the time

Set aside an hour before the end of the year to give yourself time and space to do the Victory L.A.P. process. 

Step #2: Gather the Input

You may have to put your sleuthing cap on to remind yourself of all your wins. That may involve referring to your calendar, your writing files, your journals, etc. If you rely on memory alone, you will likely miss some wins, so Sherlock away!

Step #3: Set the mood

Once your designated celebration time arrives, set the mood in a way that conveys “happy reflection” time. That will look different for every writer but could include music, a special location, something fun to eat and drink, candles, etc. 

Bottom line: Set the mood for joy. For lightness of spirit. For celebration. And double gold stars for anyone who actually gets themselves a party hat!   

Step #4: Claim Your Victory L.A.P. 

At the designated hour, respond to each of the following questions with as many items as you can. Since this is at an annual level, you might start first by generating a long list, and then pull out larger themes about your wins. Or you could just have fun building the longest lists you can for each statement. However you do it, create a solid list of wins and get the efficacy boost.

Learned

The most important things I learned this year on the writing adventure. . . 

Accomplished

My biggest accomplishments on the writing adventure this year. . . 

Proud of

The things that I am most proud of about my writing adventure this year. . . 

Tip: If you find yourself struggling to come up with wins, here is a non-exhaustive list of possible wins you might be able to claim for the year:

  • classes you took
  • conferences or workshops you attended 
  • progress you made on your writing projects—outlines, character sketches, pages written, revision passes, etc.
  • decisions madeletting a project go, or letting it rest for awhile; saying no/yes to an opportunity; trusting your instincts about a revision, etc.
  • new habits formed that serve your writing dreams
  • habits released that got in the way of your writing progress
  • query letters sent
  • agent/deal acquired
  • awards, scholarships, and/or residencies applied for (you put yourself out there!) 
  • awards, scholarships, and/or residencies won
  • pitches made
  • books, essays, blog posts, or poems published
  • marketing or publicity done 
  • social media platforming building done 
  • sales statements
  • handling rejections more effectively
  • setting boundaries around your time/work
  • making new connections 
  • new craft skills integrated
  • critique group participation
  • ways you have been kinder to yourself around your writing
  • ways you have built your resilience 
  • kept going in the face of big disappointments
  • fun or funny moments with your writing peeps
  • and even . . . doing this process and taking charge of your mindset and motivation in new way.

Claim every win!

You Did Good

You are here. On the adventure. Sticking with it. Big Goodjelly congratulations on that and all you've accomplished on your writing journey this year. May this Victory L.A.P. process boost your confidence going into the new year, so that you know deep in your bones once again: You’ve got this!

A final note

You might have already intuited that this process could also be used to generate efficacy boosts on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, too. Here are the questions again with that possibility in mind, in case you decide you want to use this process more frequently.

Learned

The most important things I learned ______ (today, this week, this month, this year) on the writing adventure. . .   

Accomplished

My biggest accomplishments on the writing adventure ______ (today, this week, this month, this year). . . 

Proud of

The things that I am most proud of about my writing adventure ______ (today, this week, this month, this year). . . 

Enjoy!


References:

[1] DeMoulin, Donald F. "Re-conceptualizing the self-efficacy paradigm: analysis of an eight-year study." Education, vol. 114, no. 2, winter 1993, pp. 167+. Gale Academic OneFile Select, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A15324589/EAIM?u=wel&sid=bookmark-EAIM&xid=822b5e67. Accessed 3 Dec. 2022.

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