Wednesday, 11 April 2012

J is for Jealousy

I have been jealous, in my efforts to get published, which is a feeling I haven't really suffered from much for many years about anything else. I'm happy with my family, have a secure home I love, and have enjoyed the last few years immensely.

The jealousy is speak of is, I feel, because getting published seems so random. I know people who write better than me who can't even get their work read by an editor. I know people who, in my opinion, don't write as well, slide effortlessly past me on their way to success. I know agents and editors say 'write a brilliant, unforgettable, saleable book' but that seems sadly dependant on trends, fashions, other books and films that are coming out etc. There must have been a writer out there with a nice 'girl meets boy vampire' a few weeks after Twilight was bought up, who is still grinding his or her teeth. Maybe a better writer (rather likely, if you believe Stephen King, whose opinion of Stephanie Meyer's writing I share).

So, because it seems random, it doesn't seem fair. You can't, by the application of hard work and study and practice, make it happen. Make it more likely, of course. But you can put that effort in for years and years, and your number may never come up. So when a fellow blogger (a very good writer, I might add) got a book deal, I was jealous, and I just hoped I didn't come across as snippy, snappy or whiny. Instead, I shall rise above my childishness and recommend her book, an extension of her blog which has come to fruition as a book, and if it is as funny as her regular posts, well worth the money. I just hope that other Canadian ex-psychiatrist who is trying to publish her French blog into a book isn't grinding her teeth as I type...

PS Since I wrote this blog, the winner of the Mslexia competition (in which I was a runner up), Rosie Garland, has received a well-earned deal for her book, and amazingly, I am NOT jealous. I can't imagine what it feels like to be in her shoes, but that's one hell of a rollercoaster! Maybe a tiny bit of envy, then! Certainly a lot of tension, since my book may be doing the rounds shortly...

PPS I am GUESTING ON ANOTHER BLOG!!!! See me over at Write it Down-ith, I'm so excited, I've never been a guest before!

18 comments:

  1. lovely post

    do check out my leters at GAC a-z

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  2. Thanks Pa Ul, I loved your abstracts, quite extraordinary! And the A-z...quite different. I shall be visiting regularly!

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  3. Nope. I'm not jealous either. I'm delighted for Rosie. Of course, I hope that a little of her luck will rub off on us, and I don't see any reason why it shouldn't

    Nicola
    http://www.nicolavincent-abnett.com/

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    1. Let's hope so! We're both in a good position with the best advice...

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  4. I sometimes rail at the randomness, but I try very hard not to be jealous of my fellow writers - we're all in the same tribe.

    Fingers crossed for you!

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    1. Thank you Downith, but sometimes it is hard not to get snippy. I suppose the trick would be to use that to spur us on further to work harder.

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  5. Reb, fyi, I have been unable to comment on your blogs for ages, still reading! So finally tried my old blogger account today and it seems to work.

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  6. Of course you know I love this post. I am a fan of telling it like it is. In all honesty my book deal was mostly about luck and location. So I'm doubly grateful. Here's to your publication Reb!

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    1. Thank you, Bobbi, but I have to say, luck and location, sure, but really witty, warm writing was also needed!

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  7. I've so far been able to avoid jealousy, but it might just be because I haven't gotten to a point where I'm actively seeking publication... :-)

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    1. That was me a few weeks ago! It's all happening very fast!

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  8. I just read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. She writes about jealousy, quite humorously. I also read this quote by poet Vera Pavlova this morning: Not to envy others is easy. It is difficult not to feel pleased when they envy you. Good luck with publication!

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    1. Thank you, Janna. I like Anne Lamott, I'll have to look Bird by Bird up.

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  9. It does seem so random, and hard work doesn't seem to have much to do with it. I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by. I'm trying to get to a dozen a day but I can't imagine getting to all of them! Good luck!

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  10. When one considers the number of great writers who were repeatedly rejected for years, and at times very rudely, it tends to alleviate the jealousy bug.

    Here are some.

    Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, George Orwell, Anne Frank, and William Faulkner to name a handful.

    Hang in there, it WILL happen!

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    1. Thank you, I'm just waiting to see what happens now my agent has it! Not very good at waiting, though...

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