Friday, July 9, 2010

Bearing others' good news

There's been a lot of good news for my fellow Blueboarders lately. Anna Staniszewski, a regular commenter on this blog, just learned her book has been sold (do click through the link--doesn't her book sound fantastic??). Mike Jung just signed with an agent (actually, the same agent as Anna's! And I love his blog post as well--it took a lot of determination and several rounds of querying to generate any interest. And then he had four agents fighting over him!) Finally, while it isn't news of the get out the champagne and celebrate variety, Nova Ren Suma wrote a quietly happy post about revision and being in a good place as a writer (with an agent, an editor, and working on an already contracted book): "Years ago, I would have killed to be in this moment. I feel so grateful."

Doesn't it make me sick? Well, no. Not at all, actually. It makes me really happy for them.

Years ago I used to get angry over others' success in the writing world. I used to get upset when I thought my writing was better than some in published books. Now I realize just how difficult the publishing world can be. Not only difficult, but unpredictable. Trends come and go, money comes and (more frequently) goes, people change and lose jobs. To succeed in it you have to be a hard worker and a good writer. And it takes years, which is another thing all of the posts above speak to.

Of course, I'm in a good place at the moment. I won a spot in Undiscovered Voices 2010. I'm currently completing an MA in Writing for Young People. I'm revising a book I really believe in (though ask me how I feel later today in the midst of work and I may tell you differently!). It's the lean, hopeless times, where it's hard to believe anything will come of my work when jealousy and competitiveness can strike. And I imagine it's a whole other ball game when an author is published and others' books are selling better, winning prizes, getting starred reviews...

But I hope to always be able to celebrate friends' success. Congrats, all!


  1. Anne, thank you so much! I know exactly how you feel. I used to grin and bear it when others got good news while it felt like my writing was going nowhere. But I firmly believe it all balances out eventually - sometimes the pay off just comes verrry slowly. :-) Happy writing!

  2. Thanks for the shout-out, Anna, much appreciated! Like Anna, I know exactly how you feel - sometimes I've had to make a big effort to manage my in-the-moment reaction to other people's good news. But I've learned how much value there is in celebrating with friends and colleagues, and how taxing this business truly is, and that when others gain success or recognition it doesn't take away from anyone else's efforts and dreams. Great post, and I'm glad you're in a good place with your writing too!

  3. Err, sorry, ANNE - got you and Anna momentarily mixed-up there...

  4. Thanks Anna and Mike! You said it exactly, Mike, the further along you get in this business, the more you realize that celebrating with friends and colleagues is so important and happy for everyone involved. Best wishes to both of you.

  5. Great post, Anne! I hadn't realized you were a blueboarder, too. I USED to be on the boards all the time and am afraid I've neglected them the past year or so (It's all because of Twitter and Facebook, really.)
    CONGRATS on your UNDISCOVERED VOICES award. Which, really, is ironic since you won an award, it kind of means you're discovered ... :)
    Have a great July!

  6. Thanks, Heidi! I think that's what the Undiscovered Voices title is all about really--they've used that catch line before. Here's hoping it works! =)

    Yes, Twitter and the Blueboards are my temptations, really. I mostly try to avoid FB.

    Have a great July yourself!

  7. I find that the more involved I get in the online community of writers, the more I rejoice in others’ successes. It’s so cool to go into a bookstore and think, “Oh, I read his blog!” or “Hey, I kind of know her from the Blueboards!” It feels like other authors are friends, not competitors, and it makes my dreams seem more possible, if that makes sense. Congrats to all of you!

  8. Makes complete sense, Ruth, and it's so true. A lovely way of explaining it. Knowing that friends have succeeded does make it more exciting, and all the more possible, too. Best wishes with your writing!


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