|Image credit: PosterRevolution.com|
How do you feel when other writers find success? Success being a subjective thing, of course, and encompassing everything from finally nailing the plot in their WIP, completing a manuscript, surviving their first agent pitch, taking the query plunge, all the way to landing an agent or publishing their book.
Since hanging up my “writer” shingle, I have been lucky to have found the most amazing community of writers on the web. *hugs all yous guys* There is this huge network of writers who blog and tweet and opine about all things #amwriting just waiting for you to jump in and feel the love.
I read a blog post recently that talked about mainstream publishing versus self-publishing which focused on this “us vs. them” feeling the writer had observed. It talked about how some writers judge others when they have strong feelings either way on publishing channels and therefore lash out at the ones on the other side of the publishing fence. He wondered if it was possible to appreciate both avenues for their pros and cons and all just get along.
But what caught my eye, and prompted this post today, was one of the comments on the post that was just so negative it actually made me sad. The writer of that post said as far as he’s observed, writers always tear one another down. The post said it was about jealousy and entitlement and that all writers are basically arrogant and selfish, assuming their thoughts should be read by everyone – hence why they write in the first place.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I write because I need to. Like breathing. Success so far has translated into my completed yet unpubbed manuscript sitting across the way on my shelf. And that is pretty freaking cool for me. That story hounded me for ten years to be written.
Additionally, when I get online and plug into this fabulous writer community, I don’t feel very judgey. My experience has been one of authentic community and we’re-all-in-the-same-boatedness that fuels my own desires to be a published author.
If you let yourself connect with others in this community, you’ll see on a daily basis writers who are struggling with their manuscript, writers who just posted their “how I got my agent” story, and still others who are flailing about on their blogs with the joy that their manuscript has a publishing date. They are living the dream! They are living MY dream!
My response? WAHOOO FOR YOU!!! I genuinely feel excitement and pride and glee in watching someone reach a goal. (writerly or otherwise) It is even sweeter when you have watched them struggle and work really hard to get there. I well up when I read other people’s “how I got here” posts. #truestory
Sure, I am not impervious to envy, and wishing I was the one with that kind of fabulous news to share. But instead of getting all grouchy and sour-grapesish on the world, I use that as fuel. It is proof that with work and work and more work, this is something I can do too.
So, I respectfully disagree with the grumptastic commenter. And I disagree with my darling husband when he says I’m being naive about people in general (he says this a lot). I’d like to send the world an edible bouquet of cookie flowers:
All you need is love, my friends.