Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blogsplash and Life Paths

It seems as though a lot of writers I cyber-know had books just debut or soon will this coming year. Those lovely copyright symbols will be followed by a 2010 or a 2011. I’m happy for them. Really! But for a milli-moment I admit it makes me… wistful. Honestly, I thought Courtesy and Patience would be with an agent by now. That hasn’t happened and after the momentary sigh, I suck up my selfishness and remember a very important thing about life:


Not one single person on this beautiful earth follows the same path. My life path is not your life path. My publishing path is not your path.

This is kind of an embarrassing and personal story, but I’m going to share it anyway:

You YA writers have probably heard of a book called The Duff by Kody Keplinger. I (anonymously) followed (Okay, fine. Cyber-stalked. Whatever. No need to split hairs.) Kody’s journey because we both submitted to her now agent the same day. While she signed with said agent over the weekend and then turned around to sell the book within DAYS (or something wonderful like that) of signing, I waited a few grueling months to hear from the agent. When she got back to me, it was a revision request. Great! I appreciated the opportunity to learn something. It still ended up a sweet and sincerely regretful no. Now, I don’t hold this experience against Kody or the agent at all. Instead I’m telling you this story to illustrate what a stupidhead I was to compare myself against another. (Yes, I occasionally call myself a stupidhead. Occasionally.) I’m not Kody and though I’m sure she’s amazing, I’m okay with not being her. I know she and the agent are destined for great things, but I should have never thought my success need parallel hers.

 There are great things ahead in my life too and they’re there for my discovery. Mine alone.
 Life doesn’t always happen the way we envision it, but once we look back we see that it has become much more than what we could comprehend at the time. We become who we are because of the experiences we have encountered along the way. At this point in my life I’m just grateful—if nothing else—to say that I at least got that funny, little book to the one (different than Kody’s) agent I thought was unattainable, one that only takes referrals. And I’m grateful to say that I know so many wonderful writers who are about to be published. Or already are. Step up and take the spotlight. Truly, with all my heart, I’m happy for you. You have each and everyone earned it. I’m waiting impatiently to read your lovely books!

 And speaking of friend’s books I’m impatient for…
 Talli Roland’s SPLASH into the rom-com world is soon at hand. Please help her prove that an Indie book can take over the jungle that is Amazon by clicking HERE. Good luck, Talli!

30 comments:

  1. Your time will come when it is meant to. I hope you enjoy the ride along the way and suck everything in because it could be used as later details for a story or article. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very uplifting and unselfish sentiments. I still have no doubt that someday one (or many) of your works of fiction will be published. In the meantime, be proud of what you have already accomplished... multiple full manuscripts have been written, and rewritten and that is no small feat. Not to mention, you are raising 3 of the best kids I know! You are SUPERWOMAN!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wonderful post. It's the nature of all of us writers, I think, to be supportive of each other, but to compare ourselves to each other too. It's always good to get a reminder that we're all headed the same direction, just getting there in different ways. Good luck with your manuscript!

    And thanks for checking out my blog. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. hi miss jackee! im real happy you could see how comparing you to someone isnt so good. youre just who you are. your a really good writer and a really good mom. you just gotta believe in you and know that you wrote a super book and it just needs to get itself to the right person who could love it. for me im just me. what you see is what you get. now im gonna sing for you. im popeye the sailor man im popeye the sailor man. i am what i am and thats all what i am. im popeye the sailor man. see even popeye knows its ok to just be who you are. :)
    ...big hugs from lenny

    ReplyDelete
  5. I can relate to your story and your sentiments, believe me! But we'll get there eventually, Jackee :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jackee, it will happen when it's meant to! Hang in there! And yes, it all makes for more stories when the success does happen.

    Thak you so much for the shout-out and for helping with my Blogsplash!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Such a fabulous post. Our journey is unique and precious in its own right. Not comparing is HARD, but vital. Thank you for he reminders to appreciate the way our own lives unfold!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think if we're all honest, we all do a little bit of comparing. It's human.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a great and honest post! Every single debut author felt the exact same frustration at one point (if they didn't, they're, well, highly unusual). I just came back from a conference where a woman was working on her manuscript for 12 years (she kept returning to it in between other manuscripts). She just got an agent, and you know what? When she gets published, she'll have such a great, inspirational story to tell to the rest of us hopefuls. Your story will be wonderful as well :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great advice. I used to always compare myself to others and found the only thing it did was make me fee bad about myself. It's something I'm still working on but my goal is to just be me, not matter what anyone else is doing or thinking. It sounds like you've already got that in the bag!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sometimes it's hard to realize we are on the path we are supposed to be on when you see others achieving their dreams ~ but not to worry ~ there is no doubt your turn is coming. And good for you for not giving up.

    Have a terrific week Jackee!
    xo Catherine

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am in love with this post. I love its honesty almost as much as I love your positive outlook on your writing journey.

    Have a wonderful week.
    Love,
    Lola

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh man. I do this. A lot. Happily, I have a lot of friends who've been picked up by agents and published. And I compare myself to every one of them. Then I beat myself up, consider quitting, eat too many cupcakes. And I'll probably do it again next week. My path to publishing has been such a giant fiasco that comparing myself to those writers with the one-week success stories really hurts. But it's so hard not to do it. Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think we all compare ourselves to others from time to time. You are right--we each have our own path. Comparing ours to someone elses is a waste of time.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow, you have a really amazing attitude. I love how you put it that we each have our own paths to follow. In so many areas of life, not just writing/publishing, it's the ruin of you if you start comparing yourself to others.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for sharing your story! It is hard to watch so many around you accomplish what you dream of accomplishing. But like you said, we all have different paths, and we can each be proud of our determination and dedication, no matter what the results. It takes character to keep going when the going isn't so easy.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I appreciate the honesty. I bet if we all were honest, we would say we've felt that same way quite often. But, I feel maybe I have more to learn. Do I think I'm there yet, no, Not really. But getting closer every day.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Just keep writing, Jackee. I'm sorry you haven't picked up an agent yet, but your time will come. And when it does, I'll buy your book. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Jackee, I think you said a brilliant thing - our paths do not to be the same as someone else's to be equally awesome or great. ((hugs))

    ReplyDelete
  20. I can so relate to this post. Good for you, Jackee! It really is an individual journey and comparing ourselves to others doesn't help anything. It's hard to avoid it sometimes, though.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Appreciate the honesty here! We've all felt the same at some stage...when I look at newly released book covers I sometimes try and check authors age and feel a stab of imaptience with my own progress when i realise how young they are!! The only way forward is through going back to the page- its so refreshing to read this post!

    ReplyDelete
  22. There are so many amazing people who are getting signed and getting book deals - it's awesome :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I think that happens to everyone. If it's not a book deal, it's the kids' accomplishments or the fabulous new boyfriend/girlfriend. The new house, the great job. It's always something.

    But I can guarantee you there is someone out there who is watching your journey enviously.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Well said and thanks for your honesty. I'm sure we all can relate. Keep the faith. I know it's incredibly hard sometimes. Believe me I know. Have a super day Jackee:)

    ReplyDelete
  25. How can you not compare yourself when you both travelled the same path for awhile? It's natural, though it's also good to fight against it.

    If I compared myself to others too often, I'd give up. The thing that keeps me going is the advice that perseverance is the biggest indicator of some future measure of success. But if The Mist Chasers doesn't start getting some requests, it's going to be very hard to pick myself off the floor and write another story.

    Look. This comment has become all about me. Sorry!

    Back to you. Your story, when you're finally published (and even agented before that) will be how hard you worked and what you learned. Writers love those stories. Overnight success makes us throw up a little. Someone who has worked hard for it makes us cheer and gives us hope.

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  26. Jackee, my friend, that was so beautiful! It's hard to not compare yourself to your real and virtual friends...I agree with Brooke! I have no doubt that you will be published...You are a wonderful writer with a great voice and heart. I see you reach out to other writers (including me) in blogland all of the time...good Karma will come back to you...To top of your awesome writing skills, you are a wonderful person!

    Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Your day will come Jackie. I have no doubt. We all have a tendency to compare ourselves to others. I know I do this and it paralyzes me. But we just have to keep plodding our path, and when you talent is finally recognized you will savour the joy so much more.

    ReplyDelete
  28. This is so, so true. We all encounter these same feelings, so please know you are not alone. Yes, our time will come when the time is right. In the meantime, we celebrate with our writer buds who have paved the way!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Jackee, I think it was very noble of your to be so honest about your feelings here when it's painful for you. But you made an important point that we all appreciate.

    Everyone is on their own path. Everyone is different. That's a good thing because it keeps life interesting. I hope things work out for you but don't get too stressed out if they don't any time soon. Just understand that whatever happens, you're on the right track because you're motivated and your working hard and you're still writing. That's the most important thing.

    Jai

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh wonderful Jackee of Winded Words! I share your pain! We're only human afterall and I think writers or wannabe writers are one of the most insecure bunch of artists ever, really and truly. I see other writers spreading their wings and flying high and the little green demon in me burns and hurts and I feel like such a Loser with a capital L and tell myself it'll never ever ever be me! :-)
    The way I cope with this little devil is to look for the positives no matter how minute and miniscule. Hey, I finished a story! Hey, I actually sent it! Hey, my friend liked it and she's a bookaholic!! :-)

    Then I treat myself to some chocolate and a glass of wine!
    :-)

    Take care
    x

    ReplyDelete